DISH Network Corp. (DISH) recently launched its TV Everywhere portal named as “DISHOnline.com”. TV Everywhere is a suite of integrated products designed to maximize the convenience and ease of watching TV anytime and anywhere. The customers of DISH Network need to make a one-time payment for the content and then can remain connected to this service. DISHOnline.com will enable DISH Network subscribers to access all their live TV and recorded programming on a laptop, mobile device, or anywhere in the home using the DISH Network WiFi Monitor.
We remain concerned about DISH Network’s future growth potential since the company lost 19,000 net subscribers in the second quarter 2010 whereas its closest competitor DIRECTV (DTV) added 100,000 net subscribers in the same quarter. We believe this is an alarming trend. As a low-cost satellite pay-TV operator, DISH Network needs a steady state net subscriber addition for its survival.
DISH Network lost the affiliation of both AT&T (T) and CenturyLink Inc. (CTL) to DIRECTV. We believe this is major cause of this low performance. In the second quarter of 2010, customer churn rate increased to 1.78% compared to 1.73% in the year-ago quarter. Subscriber acquisition cost also increased 4.4% year over year.
The major innovation of DISH Network’s TV Everywhere service is that it will enable the subscribers to program their DVRs using a Slingbox or a “SlingLoaded” ViP922 receiver. Broadband customers with Sling-loaded satellite receiver and HD-DVR will be able to relay video programming to PCs, smartphones, and other Internet-connected devices.
We remain skeptical regarding DISH Network’s latest TV Everywhere initiative. While TV Everywhere pioneer Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) offers premium content from more than 70 cable networks, DISH Network will offer premium content from nearly 20 cable networks and program suppliers.
We maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation for DISH Network. Currently it is a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) stock.