Results are in for Dish Network Corp. (DISH) and just like all other TV providers who aren’t cable companies, it grew.
The company ended 2009 with 422,000 net new subscribers, which brings its grand total to 14.1 million subscribers. During the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31, Dish added 249,000 customers. That’s about 15 percent of U.S. consumers who pay for TV service, according to Dish’s regulatory filing.
Financially, the company continued to make money, too. In the fourth quarter, Dish made $179 million in net income on revenues of $2.96 billion. That, however, was not as good as the prior fourth quarter, when Dish’s net income was $217 million. Last year, AT&T ended its partnership with Dish to offer TV service to wireless customers (AT&T switched to DirecTV instead). That partnership had accounted for 17 percent of Dish’s gross new subscribers in fourth quarter 2008.
For the year, Dish’s net income came in at $636 million, about one-third less then the prior year’s $903 million. Revenues remained steady at $11.62 billion.
But while Dish made less money, the company said that it squeezed a bit more money out of customers. On average, customers paid $70.04 a month for service, up from $69.27 in 2008. That $0.77-a month was a 1.1 percent increase and was attributed to price increases made in February 2009. In return, customers spent less money on premium movie channels and pay-per-view shows then in prior years.
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Dish’s “Average Revenue Per Subscriber” was one of the lowest in the paid-TV industry. Keep in mind, however, the average price of other TV competitors can include Internet and telephone service. See links to other TV earnings reports on the right.
As with all TV services, a big reason for higher prices was to pay for TV shows owned by networks that are looking to make more money themselves (remember the Fox vs. Time Warner squabble?). Programming fees jumped 6.4 percent from the prior year and cost Dish an extra $382 million. Dish spent $6.4 billion on such expenses last year.
To view Dish’s annual report filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, go HERE.
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