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Dish Network Profit Doubles On TiVo Settlement, Subscriber Gains

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The Dish Network (NSDQ: DISH) had a number of things to cheer about in Q1. In addition to the $500 million patent settlement with TiVo (NSDQ: TIVO), the satellite TV provider managed to reverse the subscriber losses it experienced over the last few quarters. Separately, Dish also said it was shifting Michael Kelly from his post as EVP of DISH Network’s Commercial Services division to president of Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI), crediting him for the acquisition.

Kelly’s promotion follows the closing of the Dish’s $320 million acquisition of the rental chain’s assets last week from a bankruptcy auction. (More details in this release)

Turning back to the earnings, Dish gained about 58,000 net subscribers during the quarter ended March 31, ending the quarter with approximately 14.191 million subscribers. Importantly, the company engineered a major shift in the kinds of customers it was looking to attract and retain during Q1, as the the company raised subscription prices in February. By going after subs that are willing to pay a higher rate, revenue per subscriber naturally rose 5.9 percent from last year to $75.39.

In doing so, Dish is betting that cord-cutting (technically speaking) is not a major threat to its business, despite investors’ fears that such a movement might be in effect as Dish lost subscribers in previous quarters.

This recent quarter suggests that Dish may have benefited by the continuing economic recovery. With the TiVo litigation out of the way, the company appears well positioned as it continues to defend its patents against other DVRs offered by AT&T (NYSE: T) and Microsoft.