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Dish Network posts higher Q3 income, loses subs

Fri, 11/05/2010 - 8:45am
The Associated Press

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Satellite TV company Dish Network said Friday its third-quarter profit more than tripled, even though its subscriber base declined, as the revenue it made from those subscribers increased.

The company reported net income of $245 million, or 55 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, up from $80.6 million, or 18 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue jumped 11 percent to $3.21 billion from $2.89 billion.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 42 cents per share on revenue of $3.15 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Dish said it lost about 29,000 net subscribers during the quarter, ending the period with about 14.3 million. Larger rival DirecTV, meanwhile, said Thursday it added 174,000 subscribers during the quarter.

Dish said the economic downturn is hurting the pay-TV industry, and added that competition is also intensifying with the fast growth of fiber-based pay-TV services from telecommunications companies.

It also said programming offered over the Internet has become "more prevalent" as broadband network speeds improve.

But the company stopped short of blaming the lower subscriber numbers on "cord cutters," that is, people opting out of pay TV and choosing to watch shows over the Internet at a lower cost through services such as Netflix and Hulu.

Shares of Dish rose 6 cents to $20.75 in morning trading.

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