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DISH Network Announces Conference Call (5/11/09) for 1st Q 2009 Financial Results


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28 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:05 PM

I'd say this particular issue is a non-starter, considering that no other provider offers a receiver like Dish does that drives 2 TVs (SD or HD)... Unless and until a competitor offers a receiver that can output to two HD TVs with unique channel-viewing experiences, Dish has nothing to worry about in this particular area.


I get asked about this all the time by current Dish customers who are disappointed with the SD picture on their new HDTV, especially after having gotten used to HD on their main TVs. Then they call Dish, and are often upset to find out what it will cost them to get HD on 3 or 4 TVs. The next step is looking at the competition for a better solution.

It may not be such a big deal for new Dish customers, but it's a big deal for retention, at least in my area.

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#22 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:10 PM

The thing is, there is no "better solution" available from competitors. There also hasn't been any signs of one coming soon.

Actually, the "best' possible solution we have on the horizon might be Dish's ViP922 when it launches since it will come with Sling capability... then customers could get a Sling receiver and view HD on another HDTV in the home.

Other than that, I haven't even heard a rumor of another way to drive multiple HDTVs with a single cable/satellite receiver and get HD at all locations.

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#23 OFFLINE   perryville

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:49 PM

I get asked about this all the time by current Dish customers who are disappointed with the SD picture on their new HDTV, especially after having gotten used to HD on their main TVs. Then they call Dish, and are often upset to find out what it will cost them to get HD on 3 or 4 TVs. The next step is looking at the competition for a better solution.

It may not be such a big deal for new Dish customers, but it's a big deal for retention, at least in my area.


Really? I mean wow. I own one HD TV, and I use it for Sports and Movies. So I'm not your average HD user, but people are suprised that they need an HD box for every TV and that it will cost them money? I defected from D* a few weeks ago, and the CSR at E* told me about the 722. The 722 flat out saves me money, and so does E*.

I'm in love with the 722, and E*. I agree that DTV is a better sports provider, and I live in a podunk little area served by a regional cable player (at best) who charges $50+ a month for a package similar to the E* bronze 100. I get DVR for less than that from E*, and E* is less than D* because they dont have the multi-billion dollar payment to make to the NFL.

I think most foreclosures were people using D* they were affluent people who loved their toys - a bit too much. I'm a middle class guy trying to get ahead. I realized I could boot D* and save some cash in both programming and leasing fees. I think you'll see a lot of churn out of D* into E* because it is a much lower cost for similar programming in a lot of cases.

#24 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 07:13 PM

Really? I mean wow. I own one HD TV, and I use it for Sports and Movies. So I'm not your average HD user, but people are suprised that they need an HD box for every TV and that it will cost them money? I defected from D* a few weeks ago, and the CSR at E* told me about the 722. The 722 flat out saves me money, and so does E*.


It's a great solution for many folks who are happy with SD on their second TV, but again, as folks upgrade those second, third, forth, etc. TVs to HD, they want HD on every TV. Dish's lease restrictions often mean that the customer's only upgrade option is to purchase one or more HD receivers outright, plus pay for installation and parts. A DPP44 switch by itelf is $200 new, and most used ones have no warranty.

Anyway, the numbers don't bear out the churn from DirecTV to Dish, but just the opposite. DirecTV just announced that Q109 gave them 460,000 net additions, while Dish is expected to have a 120,000+ net loss, dropping them under the 13M subscriber mark. That's a difference of almost 600,000 customers who chose DirecTV over Dish. That's a huge number, and it pretty clearly shows that Dish isn't connecting with new subscribers very well. I listed several reasons for that, but as I said before, the biggest one is poor marketing, and specifically marketing to the wrong audience.

#25 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 08:25 PM

Anyway, the numbers don't bear out the churn from DirecTV to Dish, but just the opposite. DirecTV just announced that Q109 gave them 460,000 net additions, while Dish is expected to have a 120,000+ net loss, dropping them under the 13M subscriber mark.


Last I was aware, Dish had around 13.7 million subscribers... so I'm not sure how a loss of 120,000 would drop them below 13 million. Or maybe I'm missing something.

Also.. In DirecTV's net gain, the whole story is not told. DirecTV gained 1.175 million subscribers and lost 715,000 subscribers to get that 460,000 net gain.

So, yes DirecTV did have a nice net gain... but still almost 3/4 of a million subscribers ran screaming from DirecTV.

DirecTV continues to do a MUCH better job at adding new customers than Dish does, BUT it is worth noting that at the same time DirecTV is NOT doing a good job of keeping subscribers.

If the DirecTV marketing/sign-up department were to ever stumble, the tide would turn in a hurry and the numbers would look decidedly bad and people would wonder "wha hoppen?"

That's a difference of almost 600,000 customers who chose DirecTV over Dish.


I don't follow the math that led to this 600,000. Did I misread something?

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#26 OFFLINE   Kheldar

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 09:46 PM

Last I was aware, Dish had around 13.7 million subscribers... so I'm not sure how a loss of 120,000 would drop them below 13 million. Or maybe I'm missing something.

Also.. In DirecTV's net gain, the whole story is not told. DirecTV gained 1.175 million subscribers and lost 715,000 subscribers to get that 460,000 net gain.

So, yes DirecTV did have a nice net gain... but still almost 3/4 of a million subscribers ran screaming from DirecTV.

DirecTV continues to do a MUCH better job at adding new customers than Dish does, BUT it is worth noting that at the same time DirecTV is NOT doing a good job of keeping subscribers.


Looking at the 2008 Annual Reports for DISH (page 38) and DirecTV (page 49) (since DISH's Q1 numbers haven't been released to compare with, and I can't find a Q4 report on DISH's site):

Total Subscribers as of Year-End 2008
DISH Net: 13.678 million
DirecTV: 17.621 million

Gross Subscriber Additions For All of 2008
DISH Net: 2.966 million
DirecTV: 3.904 million

Net Subscriber Additions For All of 2008
DISH Net: -102,000 (loss of 102,000)
DirecTV: 861,000 (gain)

From the two numbers above comes the total of disconnects
DISH Net: 2.966 million - (-102,000) = 3.068 million disconnected accounts
DirecTV: 3.904 million - 861,000 = 3.043 million

So, back to your quote:

DirecTV continues to do a MUCH better job at adding new customers than Dish does, BUT it is worth noting that at the same time DirecTV is NOT doing a good job of keeping subscribers.


Not only is D* adding more gross new customers, but is disconnecting less customers than E*. So, if "DirecTV is NOT doing a good job of keeping subscribers", then E* is doing even worse.

At least for the year 2008, DirecTV added more (938,000 more) and disconnected less (25,000 less) customers than DISH. That translates to DirecTV adding 963,000 more subscribers in 2008 than DISH Network did.
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#27 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 10:17 PM

...

From the two numbers above comes the total of disconnects
DISH Net: 2.966 million - (-102,000) = 3.068 million disconnected accounts
DirecTV: 3.904 million - 861,000 = 3.043 million

...

Not only is D* adding more gross new customers, but is disconnecting less customers than E*. So, if "DirecTV is NOT doing a good job of keeping subscribers", then E* is doing even worse.


I wouldn't feel that good, personally, in either case of losing 3 million subscribers. The difference between Dish vs DirecTV losses during that span (25,000) is negligible compared to the 3 million number.

Again, it is clear that DirecTV has been doing a MUCH better job at attracting new customers. This is where Dish is suffering most. They are not attracting new customers at the same rate as their primary competitor.

But many paint a picture that has customers leaving Dish for DirecTV in droves... and the numbers clearly don't support that. Clearly both Dish AND DirecTV have the same problem with customer retention. DirecTV's percentage is always going to look better since they have been around longer and have about 5 million more subscribers than Dish for that head start...

The fact remains, that both companies are bleeding customers... and no one really knows all the answers why to that aspect. What we do know, however, is that DirecTV is doing a much better job at replacing those lost customers.

So, if I'm Dish... while I'd certainly like to improve customer retention... the numbers don't lie, and I'd say my chief area for needed improvement would be in attracting new customers.

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#28 OFFLINE   Kheldar

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:48 AM

Looking at the 2008 Annual Reports for DISH (page 38) and DirecTV (page 49) (since DISH's Q1 numbers haven't been released to compare with, and I can't find a Q4 report on DISH's site):


Now that E*'s Q1 report is out, we can make a comparison to D*'s Q1 report:

Total Subscribers as of End of Q1 2009
DISH Net: 13,584,000
DirecTV: 18,081,000

Gross Subscriber Additions in Q1
DISH Net: 653,000
DirecTV: 1,175,000

Net Subscriber Additions in Q1
DISH Net: -94,000 (loss of 94,000)
DirecTV: 460,000

From the two numbers above comes the total of disconnects
DISH Net: 653,000 - (-94,000) = 747,000 (5.49% of quarter-end customer base)
DirecTV: 1,175,000 - 460,000 = 715,000 (3.95% of quarter-end customer base)
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#29 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 12:16 PM

Now that the results have been posted, let's continue the discussion here.

-- Respect the S.H.I.E.L.D.





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