Satellite broadcaster EchoStar Communications (NASDAQ:DISH) fell 8% to $33.80 after reporting an all-around weak third quarter. As revenue grew 19% from $1.22 billion to a weaker-than-expected $1.45 billion, competitive pressures and product delays caused earnings to come up well short at $35 million, or $0.07 a share.

EchoStar added 285,000 subscribers in the quarter -- short of the 300,000 estimate, to finish the quarter with 9.1 million subscribers. On the other end, Hughes Electronics' (NYSE:GMH) DirecTV is booming, adding 320,000 subscribers in the quarter to net over 11 million overall. DirecTV added more subscribers than EchoStar for the first time since the first quarter of 2002.

Worse, average monthly revenue per subscriber fell from $51.60 in the second quarter to $50.79, though up year over year. At the same time, the acquisition cost per subscriber rose 14% sequentially and 13% year over year.

Product delays -- including high-definition receivers, multiple receiver set-top boxes, and the SuperDish -- also hurt results, and should have an impact on the fourth quarter as well.

EchoStar faces an increasingly competitive market. Similar to what cable operator Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) reported, EchoStar's numbers were affected by a highly promotional atmosphere. Satellite competition will only become more intense when Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NYSE:NWS) takes over DirecTV.

Interestingly, the company didn't include a free cash flow figure in the press release, unlike last quarter. But again, it released its 10-Q yesterday.

EchoStar had a weak quarter in a highly competitive environment, one that should produce more of the same results in the coming quarters.

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Jeff Hwang can be reached at