Dish Network Loses 100,000 Subscribers


Dish Network (DISH) boss Charlie Ergen failed in his attempt to take control of Sirius XM (SIRI) last month. Today, his satellite TV provider said it had a rough fourth quarter, too.

Dish lost 102,000 subscribers during Q4 — versus the 10,000 subscriber additions Wall Street was looking for — finishing the year with 13.7 million subs. It lost about 102,000 in full-year 2008, too.

What’s Dish’s problem? The housing recession — only a tiny trickle of new houses being built — isn’t helping. But we think many subscribers have left for competing services from cable companies, which offer high-speed Internet and digital phone service in bundles.

And while Dish has traditionally partnered with phone companies to offer TV to their subscribers, phone companies like AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) are increasingly offering their own TV service via fibre optic networks they’re building out. AT&T also dumped its reseller offer with Dish last summer in favour of DirecTV (DTV).

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