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Assessing Dish Network’s Churn Rate in 2018

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Dish’s churn 

Dish Network (DISH) has been making efforts to improve its Dish TV churn rate by acquiring higher-quality subscribers amid increased pressures from competitors providing online streaming services. The company has also been giving priority to its customers’ requirements, and it has launched new and innovative products to attract higher-quality customers.

In 2018, the churn rate for Dish TV reached 1.78%, flat from the previous year’s period. In 2016, the churn rate for the satellite TV service was 1.97%.

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Blackout issue with Univision and HBO

Though the company has been historically posting lower churns, it saw a flat churn rate of 1.78% in 2018 compared to 2017, probably due to the removal of Univision and AT&T’s (T) HBO from Dish TV’s and Sling TV’s programming.

HBO is a popular brand, and a large number of customers likely left Dish TV in favor of HBO, which offers premium content to its customers. If the company doesn’t negotiate with HBO before April, it’s expected to continue to face a fall in Dish TV subscribers, as HBO is releasing its new season of Game of Thrones in April. 

Dish Network posted a fall of ~10% year-over-year to 9.9 million Dish TV subscribers in 2018. Like Dish Network, traditional pay-TV companies, such as AT&T, Comcast (CMCSA), and Charter Communications (CHTR), are facing customer losses. In the fourth quarter, AT&T, the second-largest mobile carrier in the United States, lost 403,000 satellite TV customers, more than its expected loss of 328,000. Comcast also posted a loss of 19,000 residential video customers in the quarter, while Charter lost 36,000 residential video customers in the same period.

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