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EchoStar Subscriber Growth Slows In Third Quarter

By | November 12, 2007

      [11-12-07 – Satellite Today] EchoStar Communications Corp. reported revenues of $2.8 billion for the 2007 third quarter, a 12.9 percent increase compared with revenue $2.5 billion in the same period in 2006, the company announced. Net income totaled $200 million for the quarter that closed Sept. 30, up from earnings of $140 million a year ago.

      Average revenue per use improved from $63.28 a year ago to $66.01 in the most recent quarter due to higher equipment rental and other hardware-related fees, increased penetration of high-definition programming, price increases on some programming packages, advertising sales and revenue from increased availability of standard-definition and high-definition local channels, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

      EchoStar’s Dish Network service added about 110,000 net new subscribers during the third quarter to close with a total of 13.7 million subscribers. In the 2006 third quarter, Dish Network gained about 295,000 net new subscribers to close the period with 12.8 million subscribers. EchoStar blamed the nearly 63 percent decline on an increase in the subscriber churn rate, churn on a larger subscriber base, and the decrease in gross new subscribers discussed above. Subscriber churn for the three months ended Sept. 30 was 1.9 percent, compared to 1.8 percent in the same period in 2006.

      “We believe our subscriber churn rate has been and is likely to continue to be negatively impacted by a number of factors, including, but not limited to, increased competition, an increase in non-pay disconnects primarily resulting from the adverse economic conditions …, decreased customer satisfaction with our products and services resulting from operational inefficiencies, continuing effects of customer commitment expirations and increases in the theft of our signal or our competitors’ signals,” EchoStar said.

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