Dish Network lays off 90 in El Paso refurbishing plant

satellite dishes on a roof
An accelerating shift from satellite to vMVPD service may be part of the reason for the drop in equipment refurbishment demand. (Image: Rafael Castillo / CC BY 2.0)

Dish Network confirmed that it’s laying off 90 workers at its El Paso, Texas, manufacturing plant as demand for the refurbishment of customer equipment decreases. Spokesperson John Hall told local broadcast news outlets that the plant’s third shift will be consolidated into the first and second. 

The move comes as Dish is seeing the rapid migration of its customer base to its Sling TV virtual MVPD service. 

Dish reported gains of 16,000 subscribers in the third quarter, but it doesn’t provide transparency on Sling TV gains and satellite TV losses. Leichtman Research Group estimated that Sling TV added 240,000 users in the third quarter, offset by the loss of 224,000 satellite users. 

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Dish is hoping to better monetize the low-margin vMVPD business going forward with advancements in addressable advertising.

RELATED: Dish reports gains of 16K U.S. subscriptions in Q3, with satellite losses ‘not as bad as feared’

Dish also appears to be freshening its CPE base, diminishing the need to refurbish older consumer premises equipment. 

For example, the satellite operator introduced earlier this month the Hopper Duo, a DVR designed for homes with only one or two televisions. 

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