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Inside Dish Network’s Efforts to Keep a Low Churn Rate

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Aug. 9 2018, Updated 8:01 a.m. ET

Dish maintaining lower churn rate 

Dish Network (DISH) has had a lower Dish TV churn rate in the last few quarters despite increased pressure from competitors with online streaming services. Dish’s churn rate was 1.46% in the second quarter, which was 1.47% lower sequentially and 1.83% lower YoY (year-over-year). The company has been making efforts to acquire higher-quality subscribers.

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Initiatives to add and retain customers

Dish Network has been making continued improvements in Dish TV churn. While the company added fewer customers in the second quarter, they were higher-quality rural customers, which was positive for the company’s churn rate. The company has also been giving priority to customer requirements and has launched new innovative products to add higher-quality customers.

It has also offered innovative programming packages such as Flex Pack at reasonable rates. With the Hopper DVR (digital video recorder), the company provides its customers easy access to free local programming. Dish Network is also planning to integrate Hopper with Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google Assistant.

A lower Dish TV churn rate has helped the company lower its Dish TV subscriber losses and, in turn, reduce the net Pay-TV subscriber losses in the second quarter. Dish Network posted narrower than expected net losses of 192,000 DISH TV customers and added approximately 41,000 Sling TV subscribers in the quarter. Overall, its pay-TV subscribers fell a net 151,000 in the second quarter. However, it believes its future churn rates will be negatively impacted by the dispute with Univision.

Peer comparison

Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter Communications (CHTR), traditional pay-TV companies, have also lost residential video customers in their recently reported second quarter. Charter lost 73,000 residential video customers, and Comcast reported a loss of 136,000 residential video customers. AT&T (T), the second-largest US wireless service provider, lost 286,000 satellite TV customers and added 24,000 U-verse TV customers in the second quarter.

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