Dish lost 102,000 subs in Q4

Satellite TV player Dish Network, whose resale partnership with AT&T ended in January, reported fourth-quarter earnings highlighted by a 24 percent increase in profit. But, the bad news may be more telling: Dish had a net loss of 102,000 subscribers during the quarter while DirecTV and several other TV service providers continue to add subscriber despite the unstable economy.

Dish said in an SEC filing that discount competition from cable TV firms and telcos took a toll, but the company also stated that customer service issues had some impact. Revenue for the quarter was up about 1 percent to $2.92 billion, from $2.89 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007. Profit jumped to $217 million, from $175 million in the closing quarter of 2007.

Revenue and profit also increased for the full year of 2008, but analysts were troubled by the loss of customers. Dish remains the second-largest satellite TV carrier after DirecTV. While DirecTV now has resale partnerships with the three largest telcos in the U.S., Dish does have partnerships with several independent telcos.

For more:
- The Associated Press has this story

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AT&T chose DirecTV over Dish as its partner
AT&T resold Dish until Jan. 31 of this year

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