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Dish Network Posts Upbeat Revenue, but Its Growth Remains Weak

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Dish’s revenue

Dish Network (DISH) reported revenue of $3.31 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018. Though its revenue exceeded Wall Street analysts’ expectation of $3.28 billion, it fell 4.9% YoY (year-over-year). 

Dish’s revenue has been falling on a YoY basis for the past nine straight quarters. The fourth quarter’s fall of 4.9% followed the falls of 5.2%, 5%, and 6% in the third, second, and first quarters of 2018, respectively.

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Reasons for the revenue fall

The primary reason for Dish Network’s falling revenue was an overall fall in its number of pay-TV subscribers (including both Dish TV and Sling) and a fall in pay-TV ARPU (average revenue per user) partially offset by an increase in Sling subscribers. Dish’s pay-TV ARPU was down due to a higher mix of Sling subscribers in its pay-TV customer base and lower revenue related to pay-per-view boxing events. The removal of AT&T’s (T) HBO and Spanish-language channel Univision also hurt its subscriber base and its revenue in the quarter. The company had already warned its investors about subscriber losses due to the blackouts of Univision and HBO resulting from contract disputes.

The increase in Dish TV’s programming prices as well as higher revenue per subscriber related to Sling TV, however, made up for the company’s revenue fall.

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