Dish Network Just Lost Over Half A Million Subscribers

Dish Network lost 552,000 in the first quarter of 2023.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

dish network

When it comes to how we consume modern media, more and more of us are cutting the cord and relying solely on streaming networks such as Netflix and HBO Max. It’s a well-known fact that the traditional cable television industry has been bleeding customers, but most consumers don’t realize how bad things are for satellite television companies as well. For example, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Dish Network has lost a whopping 552,000 customers in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022.

The majority of these former Dish Network consumers were relying on the business for their satellite television needs. The remaining customers were using Dish Network for its Sling TV streaming service. And it is actually the Sling TV side of things that may help explain why so many customers fled the company in a short period of time.

Obviously, one reason that customers are fleeing Dish Network is because they are turning to streaming services such as Amazon Prime. In addition to the added convenience of streaming, these services provide customers with exclusive content such as The Boys and Rings of Power. Still, more customers would have likely kept streaming using television Sling TV if the company hadn’t fallen victim to a cyberattack last year.

The cybersecurity attack on Dish Network ended up taking down the Sling TV service for a period of time, and this caused some customers to quit the service out of sheer frustration. Other customers were likely worried about how much (if any) of their personal data the attackers were able to steal. This led more users to quit Sling TV despite the network waiving late fees in an effort to reassure its concerned customers and investors.

All of this leaves Dish Network in a rather precarious place. As of this writing, the company has 9.2 million subscribers. But in addition to losing over half a million customers this past quarter, Dish lost 268,000 in the final quarter of 2022. No matter how you look at it, this is a company that is bleeding customers, which is one of the reasons the network is trying to pivot its business model.

Right now, Dish Network is hoping to focus more on its wireless broadband service, and it hopes to do so by offering a 5G wireless network to customers. There is no telling if this will be a winning strategy, though, especially because that side of the business is also suffering. Dish lost 81,000 of its wireless phone subscribers this past quarter, so its appeal as a wireless provider may be suffering along with its appeal as a television provider.

This will be the second big pivot in recent years for Dish Network, with the previous pivot being to offer streaming television via Sling TV. But the simple fact is that there are simply more popular ways to stream television, including doing so via YouTube or Hulu. Ultimately, Dish Network may be the victim of great cosmic irony: despite our renewed focus on exploring everything from the moon to Mars, the days of consumers getting entertainment beamed down from outer space may finally be a thing of the past.