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Why Is Dish Network’s Churn Rate Rising?


May. 8 2019, Published 4:16 p.m. ET

Dish’s churn 

Dish Network (DISH) has recently been posting lower churns, but in the first quarter of 2019, DISH TV’s churn rate of 1.78% was higher than its previous year’s churn of 1.47%. However, it was consistent with 2018’s churn rate of 1.78%, which was flat compared to 2017. DISH TV’s churn rate was 1.97% in 2016.

The company 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 is focusing on the customer experience by delivering excellent in-home services, and it’s launched new innovative products to attract higher-quality customers. 

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Blackout issues with Univision and HBO

Dish’s higher churn in the first quarter was probably the result of the removal of certain channels by Univision and AT&T from its DISH TV and Sling TV programming due to ongoing carriage disputes. Though the company settled its dispute with Univision at the end of March, the disagreement between Dish and AT&T regarding HBO and Cinemax hasn’t progressed at all, as a result of which a large number of customers have ended their DISH TV subscriptions, leading to higher churn. 

Dish Network is also losing its DISH TV subscribers, which is further hurting its churn. In the first quarter, the company lost ~259,000 net pay-TV subscribers, ~266,000 of which were DISH TV satellite subscribers. The company ended up with 9.64 million DISH TV satellite subscribers in the quarter.


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