Dish Network May 3 reported it lost 266,000 pay-TV subscribers in the first quarter, ended March 31. That compared to a loss of 185,000 subs in the previous-year period.
The nation’s fourth-largest pay-TV operator ended the period with 12 million subscribers – down almost 1.1 million subs from 13.1 millions subs last year.
The loss reflects ongoing secular changes in the pay-TV market as increasing numbers of consumers opt away from linear television toward over-the-top video products such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Now and Showtime OTT, among others.
Separately, Dish’s pioneering online TV service, Sling TV, added just 7,000 subs in the period, compared to a gain of 91,000 subs last year. The standalone live streaming service ended the period with 2.41 million subs compared to 2.3 million subs last year.
Sling TV helped create an online TV market targeting cord-cutters and millennials that now includes PlayStation Vue, Spectrum TV Plus, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Fubo TV and Hulu with Live TV, among others.
Without Sling, Dish’s legacy satellite TV subscriber base would be about 9.6 million – down almost 4 million subs (30%) in the past five years.