ENGLEWOOD, Colorado: The US subprime mortgage crisis has cast its shadow across satellite TV firm EchoStar Communications, which reports a record number of customer cancellations during the third quarter.

Despite a robust increase in net income of 43% compared with the year earlier period, churn (or subscriber turnover) rates at for Echostar's Dish service rose to 1.94% per month in Q3, compared with 1.76% during the same quarter in 2006.

Ceo Charles Ergen expressed disappointment with the churn figures and admitted: "As a company, that level is unacceptable. I didn't do as good a job, as a ceo, of managing it as well as I would have liked to."

A significant number of EchoStar customers have been recruited from the ranks of the lower paid, making them more susceptible to the credit squeeze.

Ergen says the problem is now being addressed through a tightening of the company's credit policies.

Data sourced from Forbes.com; additional content by WARC staff