(Reuters) - Dish Network Corp's first-quarter profit fell 40 percent, hurt by higher programming and subscriber-acquisition costs, and the U.S. satellite TV company added fewer subscribers than expected.

The company added a net 36,000 subscribers in the quarter, down from 104,000 a year earlier. Analysts had expected 68,000, according to StreetAccount.

Dish, which made a $25.5 billion offer for Sprint Nextel Corp on April 15, has been waiting for a response from Sprint's special committee, which is analyzing its bid and a rival offer from Japan's SoftBank Corp.

Dish's offer for Sprint is part of Chairman Charlie Ergen's strategy to diversify Dish beyond its core pay-TV business, which faces tough competition from cable, telecom and internet video providers.

Net profit fell to $215.6 million, or 47 cents per share, in the first-quarter from $360.3 million, or 80 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue dropped marginally to $3.56 billion, mainly due to a weak performance of its Blockbuster video rental business, which Dish bought in a bankruptcy auction last year.

Blockbuster revenue fell 46 percent to $180.3 million, mainly because Dish sold the British unit of the video rental company to private equity firm Gordon Brothers Europe.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 53 cents per share on revenue of $3.61 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the Englewood, Colorado-based company closed at $39.61 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

(Reporting By Liana B. Baker and Lehar Maan in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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