Dish Network reported second-quarter 2016 earnings that topped expectations, but Dish Network also had a net loss of 281,000 pay-TV subscribers, including satellite and the Sling web TV service, said to be the biggest quarterly subscriber loss ever, for Dish.
Here’s the importance: every legacy service provider is in a race to create new revenue streams at least as fast as each service provider loses legacy accounts. Pressure on top-line revenue and customer account attrition might mean Dish Network is losing that battle, despite the launch of Sling TV streaming services.
That leaves speculation about Dish Network entering the mobile business.
Opinions about what Dish Network might be able to do with its amassed mobile spectrum have varied. Some seem never to have believed Dish Network really would become a mobile service provider, and eventually would simply sell its spectrum.
Others believed Dish Network might well try and enter the mobile business.
The “problem” for observers is that much hinges on whether Dish Network concludes it is time to sell, time to build to create value before selling, or time to transition to a new business model and grow over the long term.
It is not clear anybody outside Dish Network, and aside from Charlie Ergen, Dish CEO, have any idea what the company will do.