EchoStar continues to shed subscribers

EchoStar continued to lose customers across its mobile, broadband and pay-TV customer bases as a combined company following the acquisition of Dish Network—but its losses overall were less than at the same time a year ago.

Compared to the year-ago period, retail wireless losses were flat at 81,000; broadband losses decreased by 26,000 compared to a loss of 51,000 subs in the first quarter of 2023; and EchoStar lost 348,000 net pay-TV subscribers, compared to a loss of 552,000 during the same time last year. EchoStar closed out the first quarter of 2024 with 7.3 million retail wireless subscribers, 978,000 broadband subscribers and 8.18 million pay-TV subscribers (including 6.26 million Dish TV subs and 1.92 million Sling TV subs).

The company said that its wireless business saw a lower churn rate but lower gross additions, and it was also impacted by lower subscriber additions through the Affordable Connectivity Program, a federal subsidy for broadband services which is ending due to lack of funding; enrollments were halted in February of this year.

The company saw a net loss of nearly $104 million during the quarter, compared to a profit of about $253.5 million in the year-ago quarter. EchoStar’s revenues across its business segments were down from $4.39 billion in the year-ago quarter to $4.01 billion in the first quarter of 2024. 5G network deployment property and equipment spending dropped from $871 million to $549 million.

Hamid Akhaven, president and CEO of EchoStar, framed the company’s performance as part of its transition into an integrated company.

“The EchoStar team performed as planned in the first quarter of 2024,” he said in a statement. “We concentrated efforts on integrating the EchoStar and Dish Network businesses in order to maximize synergies and cost savings, facilitate growth opportunities, and drive operational alignment. Overall, ARPU increased in every business unit and customer satisfaction has improved. In addition, the business continues to focus on addressing necessary financing, improving our position in retail wireless, densifying and expanding the wireless network, maximizing our profitability with the newly launched EchoStar XXIV/Jupiter 3, and acquiring higher-quality Pay-TV customers.”

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