Dish Network Loses 100,000 Subscribers

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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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