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Dish Network, Sling TV lose more than 550,000 subscribers

The dip in customers came as the company dealt with a massive internal cyberattack.

The dip in customers came as the company dealt with a massive internal cyberattack.

The electronic program guide for Dish Network's free television service Sling Freestream. (Graphic by The Desk)
The electronic program guide for Dish Network’s free television service Sling Freestream. (Graphic by The Desk)

Dish Network saw more than 550,000 customers leave its two pay television products during the three-month period that ended March 31, a trend that had a material effect on the company’s bottom line.

On Monday, Dish executives said it ended the first financial quarter (Q1) of 2023 with 9.2 million subscribers, including 7.1 who pay for its traditional Dish-branded satellite service and another 2.1 million who subscribe to the streaming service Sling TV.

The 552,000 loss in customers came as the company grappled with the effects of a massive cybersecurity incident that took many of its internal systems offline, including websites and apps that allowed customers to pay their bills and get support. The company didn’t say how many customers dropped its satellite and streaming services due to the incident; the drop represented about 19 percent more than the 462,000 subscribers Dish lost during Q1 2022.

Related: Dish says no customer info compromised during attack

Like other traditional pay television services, Dish has increasingly looked toward streaming as the future of its television business. Sling TV offers dozens of live channels starting at $40 a month in most areas (or $45 a month in some markets with live access to ABC-owned stations).

The results on Monday showed Sling TV lost 234,000 customers during Q1 2023, the second consecutive quarter of subscriber declines. The satellite business lost 318,000 customers during Q1 2023, the company said.

Despite shedding subscribers, Dish said its average revenue per user, or ARPU, grew slightly for the quarter to $102.71. During Q4 2022, Dish said its ARPU was $102.08.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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