Washington, D.C. (May 16, 2013)
With subscription growth slowing, Dish yesterday announced an
eye-catching promotion designed to woo new customers:
Sign up and get a free iPad 2.
The offer requires new subscribers to sign a two-year agreement and submit to a
credit check. But if they sign up for the Hopper HD DVR and Dish's America's Top
120 programming package (or a higher-priced plan), they will get an Apple 16GB
iPad 2, valued at roughly $400.
If the iPad doesn't catch a new subscriber's fancy, he or she can opt for
programming credits from $25 to $35 a month for the first year as a Dish
The deal, which is good from May 22 to September 18, 2013, is only available to
new subscribers. And that's not terribly surprising. Dish reported last week
that it added 36,000 new net subscribers in the first quarter, a sharp decline from last
year's first quarter when it added 104,000 net customers. Plus, Dish added just
89,000 subscribers in 2012, compared to 166,000 in 2011.
The satcaster is facing growing competition not only from traditional TV
providers such as rival DIRECTV, the cable operators and the telco TV services,
but from upstart TV businesses such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Redbox and
Aereo. The search for new subscribers is getting harder, which explains the
creative use of the iPad 2 in this marketing effort.
It also doesn't hurt that the most recent edition of the Hopper HD DVR can
transfer recorded programming to an iPad for viewing without an Internet
connection using the Hopper's new 'Transfers' app. (However, the programming
will not be available in high-def.)