Dish Network lost 134,000 TV subscribers in the first quarter

Dish Network lost 134,000 TV subscribers in the first quarter of 2015.

The satellite TV provider now has 13.8 million subscribers, down from 14.2 million at the end of the first quarter last year.

The company blamed disputes with Fox and Turner Broadcasting for increased subscriber losses.

According to MoffettNathanson, the pay TV industry lost a total of 31,000 subscribers during the quarter – the first net loss in a first quarter.

MoffettNathanson said in a research note Monday that with online video threats, “it is only going to get worse.”

Dish Network first quarter financial results

However, despite the loss in TV subscribers, Dish posted an improvement in profit and revenue for the first quarter, partly thanks to a price increase that went into effect in January.

Revenue increased around 3 percent, to $3.7 billion, just shy of what analysts expected of $3.73 billion.

For the quarter ended March 31, Dish reported a profit of $351.5 million, or 76 cents a share, up from first quarter profit last year of $175.9 million, or 38 cents a share.

Dish shares fell 0.7 percent to $66.38 at the close on Monday.

So far this year its shares have dropped 8.9 percent.

Sling TV’s “skinny bundle”

In response to the decline in subscribers, Dish Network introduced Sling TV’s “skinny bundle”, which offers a range of major cable channels that can be streamed through smart TVs, digital media players and apps.

According to Sling CEO Roger Lunch, it was designed to target the viewing habits of the 18-35 demographic.

Although Dish didn’t disclose subscriber numbers for the service, Ergen said in a conference call that he’s encouraged by it.

“We’re excited about where it’s going to go, and I think it’s going to be meaningful revenue,” Ergen said.