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How New Digital Officer Could Help Boost Dish Network

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Dish appoints a new chief digital officer

On November 28, Dish Network (DISH) appointed Suma Nallapati as the new senior vice president and chief digital officer. Nallapati will report to the company’s chief information officer, Atilla Tinic. Nallapati will join the company in mid-January. Nallapati is expected to ensure that Dish Network is well-positioned with the application delivery and digital strategy implementation. Nallapati is expected to overlook sales, e-commerce, customer and partner management, billing and other various operational support systems, and help the company to perform better.

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Dish facing soft revenues

The US satellite TV provider Dish Network reported better-than-expected earnings in the third quarter of 2018. Revenues, however, missed estimates marginally in the quarter. The company also lost more satellite TV subscribers than expected.

The company’s earnings of $0.82 per share in the third quarter were also significantly higher than $0.57 per share reported a year earlier after the company benefited from lower programming costs due to a blackout of Univision channels. Dish Network’s revenues of $3.395 billion, however, dropped 5% YoY. Dish’s revenues have been declining YoY for the past eight quarters due to customer losses and a decline in pay-TV ARPU (average revenue per user).

Declining pay-TV subscribers

The company is also losing its DISH TV customers, which is leading to the overall decline in pay-TV subscribers. The company’s subscriber-related revenues have also fallen continuously. In the third quarter, Dish Network posted wider-than-expected losses of 367,000 DISH TV customers during the third quarter. The company added lower-than-expected Sling TV subscribers of 26,000 during the quarter. Overall, the company’s net pay-TV subscribers fell 341,000 in the third quarter to 12.656 million subscribers compared with 13.203 million in the year-ago quarter.

Like Dish Network, other traditional pay-TV companies like Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter Communications (CHTR) have also been losing video customers for the past several quarters due to cord cutting and competition from over-the-top players in the industry. While Charter lost 66,000 residential video customers in Q3 2018, Comcast reported a loss of 95,000 residential video customers in the third quarter. AT&T (T), the US’s second-largest wireless service provider, also lost 359,000 satellite TV customers and added 13,000 U-verse TV customers in Q3 2018.

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