Shares in DISH Network Corp.(NASDAQ:DISH) rose 1.2 percent in opening trading on Wednesday after Credit Suisse said that its sales agents were reporting improved subscriber additions from a year earlier.
Stefan Anninger of CS said that new subscribers to Dish Network were opting for the premium priced Hopper digital video recorder.
Dealers were reporting better sales and more new customers being added in the third quarter compared to year-ago while the newer additions were choosing the higher-priced Hopper recorders.
The Hopper DVR, a premium offering from the satellite TV company, is priced about $4 higher than other Dish DVRs and comes with ad-skipping technology.
Anninger also said he expects Dish to raise prices on its core programming packages by $5 per month next year, which should result in average revenue per user rising 3.4 percent in 2013.
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The third biggest provider of TV signals in the United States, Dish has 14 million subscribers and its earnings come from charging consumers more for television programming than what it pays to the media companies for broadcasting them.
Disputes with content providers or channels are quite common and this has led to blackouts in the past. In June it dropped AMC's four channels in a dispute over fees.
The company is involved in a major legal battle with AMC Networks over its Voom suite of channels, which Dish dropped. AMC is suing the company for $2.5 billion for violating a long-term agreement to air the channels. The trial is expected to start on September 19.
It has another dispute, this time with broadcasters CBS Corporation(NYSE:CBS), NBC and Fox over the Hopper DVRs. The broadcasters say the DVR breaks licensing agreements with Dish but Dish argues its technology is no different from standard DVRs which consumers can also use to skip commercials.