July 29, 2019 / 8:14 PM / a month ago

Dish loses fewer pay-TV subscribers than expected

(Reuters) - Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) beat estimates for quarterly revenue on Monday, as the U.S. satellite TV service provider lost fewer pay-TV subscribers than analysts had expected.

FILE PHOTO: A Dish Network satellite dish is shown on a residential home in Encinitas, California, U.S., November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The earnings announcement comes just a few days after Dish agreed to buy prepaid businesses from T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) and Sprint (S.N), including Boost Mobile, to create a fourth U.S. wireless carrier. Dish will pay $1.4 billion for the prepaid businesses with cash on hand, Dish founder Charlie Ergen said in a conference call with analysts.

Dish said its pay-TV business, comprising satellite TV and Sling TV, lost a net 31,000 subscribers during the second quarter, far less than analysts’ estimate of a loss of 252,000, according to research firm FactSet.

As people increasingly switch to online video streaming services such as Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) Prime Video, Dish’s efforts to lure viewers to its online streaming service Sling TV has paid off.

Net income attributable to Dish fell to $317 million, or 60 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $439 million, or 83 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 65 cents per share on revenue of $3.14 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Revenue fell about 7% to $3.21 billion.

On Friday, T-Mobile won U.S. antitrust approval for its $26 billion takeover of rival Sprint after the two companies agreed to divest assets to Dish to create a new wireless carrier.

The Justice Department indicated the deal would improve competition and the rollout of faster 5G networks by combining weaker players and creating a strong, new No. 4, in Dish, that has unused spectrum, or airwaves that carry data, which can be activated.

Along with Boost, Dish has also agreed to acquire more spectrum in a deal valued at $3.6 billion from the merged firm. Dish will get access to the new T-Mobile’s network for seven years while it builds its own 5G network.

Dish shares fell 0.7% at $38.28 in extended trade on Monday.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Angela Moon in New York; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Lisa Shumaker

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