Dish Network cuts jobs, re-evaluates business in coronavirus fallout

By Munsif Vengattil

(Reuters) – Dish Network Corp <DISH.O> has cut staff and is re-evaluating its business to cope better with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. satellite TV provider told Reuters, without disclosing the number of employees laid off.

Shares of the company moved lower after Reuters reported the move, and were last down 4.8% at $21.97 in late morning trading.

“The pandemic has forced us to take a closer look at every aspect of our business, at our work volumes, our areas of focus and investments, and the performance of our team members,” Chief Executive Officer Erik Carlson told employees in an internal memo, which was seen by Reuters late Sunday.

“I want you to hear directly from me that we’ve made a series of difficult decisions to reevaluate parts of our business, particularly within In Home Services,” he added.

The company had 16,000 employees as of December 31.

Dish has struggled to retain pay-TV subscribers as it repositions itself as a wireless phone carrier, as customers are shifting to online streaming services including those from Netflix Inc <NFLX.O> and Walt Disney Co <DIS.N>.

The latest move from Dish, which had not disclosed any coronavirus impact till date, indicates the challenges ahead for the company as it vies for a share in the 5G race.

The company stands to benefit from the merger of T-Mobile US Inc <TMUS.O> and Sprint Corp, as the combined wireless company is expected to sell off certain assets to Dish making it the fourth-largest provider in the U.S. wireless space.

(This story corrects typo in third paragraph.)

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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