If you look at where the majority of the growth is in the TV business, it is in the HD realm. Customers signing up these days want HD and DVRs. They want lots of HD channels too. But Dish's offer was for ultra-basic service that few people want. Low price isn't enough; you have to offer what the customer wants. DirecTV was giving great discounts for HD service and including an HD-DVR. THAT is what people are looking for, and the numbers prove that out.
It goes back to what I said earlier: Dish needs to lose the "low price", low-end mindset completely and start competing at the high end. That means new promotions focused on HD and DVRs, and not on "entry-level" deals. Dish has good equipment and, at the moment, more HD channels than anyone, and they should be on your TV right now talking about how they are the HD leader and what great deals they have on their 722 for new customers. THAT will get people subscribing.
Dish has been giving away free 722's to new subscribers for alot longer than Directv has been giving away free HR's. It is a combonation of things but, I personally beleive that it was a combonation of FIOS and Uverse gaining more market share and D* taking the lead in national channels in HD. In my opinion E* needs to focus on upgrading as many exsisting customers to HD equipment with new 2 year contracts and marketing to the hilt about how they have more national HD than D*. They also need to make sure that keep the national HD lead among sat. providers for at least one year. The reason that I say that they need to focus ad dollars to D* subs is twofold: 1. D* customers are already comfortable sat. dilivered tv. 2. Fios/uverse does not have enough market penetration to pull that many customers from them yet. I only bring them up because they are the only other 2 providers that can beat E* in national Hd channels delivered but, they are neither a national provider yet.