Both DirecTV and long-time rival Dish Network have recently reported fourth quarter 2018 operating results and the numbers are not good. The satellite operators are suffering from the same problem as cable operators are — the proliferation of broadband OTT services. None of this is good news for broadcasters since the slow migration of subs from cable and satellite to OTT will likely suppress retrans revenue growth.
Dish Network on Wednesday reported a nearly 5% drop in quarterly revenue, as the satellite TV service provider lost more than expected pay-TV subscribers. The company said its pay-TV business, which includes both satellite TV and streaming service Sling TV, lost a net 334,000 subscribers during the fourth quarter, more than what analysts had expected Dish to lose at 264,000, according to research firm FactSet.
Dish Network, which has blacked out several Univision-run channels after failing to reach a new distribution deal with the programmer, has lobbed a lawsuit at Univision claiming that the Spanish-language broadcaster is infringing a batch of patents tied to adaptive bit-rate streaming.
Over the weekend, Dish began alerting existing subscribers that prices on their programming packages will rise in January, the fifth major pay TV operator to announce that it’s hiking monthly video fees in 2019.
Dish Network and its virtual MVPD Sling TV are the latest to join up with Comscore’s ongoing beta trial for its new Comscore Campaign Ratings ad measurement platform. The ad inventory for both Dish and Sling TV’s live linear programming and video on-demand will be part of the beta. Dish is the first pay TV provider to join the program, and Comscore said Dish Media’s inclusion broadens the measurement to include addressable and linear ads.
Tegna and Dish Network said they reached a multi-year carriage agreement just hours after Tegna’s stations went dark to Dish subscribers Saturday morning. The companies said that the stations’ signals will be restored to the Dish lineup immediately.
Univision on Tuesday said that Dish Network has decided not to renew its carriage agreement for Univision Deportes Network, broadending the dispute between the two companies. Dish dropped Univision’s lifestyle cable networks in April and its main channel in June. In recent statements, Dish has indicated little interest in bringing the channels back.
Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen, long known for his free-spoken, sharp-elbowed management style, described the company’s carriage dispute with HBO as the result of “purely an anti-competitive play” by the premium network’s new parent, AT&T.