DISH Network recently reported a less than stellar first quarter, which is likely due to the carriers loss of HBO services. Of course, this comes at the worst possible time as HBO is in the middle of airing the final season of its flagship series Game of Thrones.
Lest we forget, DISH also suffered from a Univision blackout in Q1, though that disagreement has since been resolved. Unfortunately, DISH’s feud with HBO shows no signs of ending anytime soon.
DISH posed an 8% decline in both revenue and profit. A lot of this is driven by the continued loss of satellite subscribers, an exodus fueled by the growing popularity of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
All told, DISH reported a loss of roughly 266,000 satellite subscribers. That’s significantly up from the 185,000 they lots in Q1 of 2018.
DISH’s own streaming service, Sling TV, continues to grow, albeit slowly. The company reported 7,000 new Sling customers in Q1, leaving them with about 2.42 million.
While all of that may not sound like great news, it is nothing that Wall Street didn’t expect. Analysts had forecast $3.19 billion in sales and an EPS of 66 cents. The actual numbers show HBO with $3.19 billion in revenue and an EPS of 65 cents.
The big thorn for DISH right now is certainly the HBO dispute. DISH has always had a reputation for playing hardball with their contract agreements, but in this case it is hurting their bottom line. Hopefully the two companies can come to an agreement soon.
It is worth mentioning that DISH is still one of the largest holders of spectrum in the nation, which means they are looking at additional revenue streams outside of their more traditional satellite and streaming services.