The DirecTV Group was among the first service providers to report the sinking economy is putting a crimp in business, though what problems the company had minimal effect on revenue or profit figures.
The company added a net of 156,000 customers to its subscriber total in its third quarter, fewer than in Q3 2007, which the company said was due to both the economy (which led to an increase in churn) and increased competition.
The company reported a decline in gross additions to 1,002,000, mainly due to the end of the distribution agreement it had with AT&T in the former BellSouth territories.
DirecTV U.S. ended the quarter with 17.32 million subscribers, an increase of 5 percent over the 16.56 million subscribers reported on September 30, 2007.
In the quarter, DirecTV U.S. revenues increased 11 percent to $4.32 billion, attributed to strong ARPU growth and a larger subscriber base. ARPU of $83.59 increased 6.1 percent principally due to programming package price increases as well as higher HD and DVR service fees, the company said.
As a whole – adding its operations in Latin America – DirecTV had third quarter 2008 revenues of $4.98 billion, up 15 percent from the similar quarter a year ago. Net income was $363 million, up from $319 million a year ago.
DirecTV president and CEO Chase Carey said, “In an increasingly challenging economic and competitive environment, we're continuing to see strong consumer demand for DirecTV's unique and differentiated content including its industry-leading HD, DVR and interactive services.”
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