AT&T: More Bad News For DIRECTV, U-verse

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DIRECTV lost a net of 147,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter while AT&T’s U-Verse lost 60,000 in the time period, AT&T announced today.

The telco also reported that its live streaming service, DIRECTV Now, added a net of 368,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter, bringing its total at year’s end to nearly 1.2 million.

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Thanks to DIRECTV Now, AT&T posted a net gain of 161,000 video subscribers from October to the end of December.

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However, despite the overall positive result, AT&T has yet to find a solution to the continuing decline of video subscribers for DIRECTV and U-verse.

DIRECTV and U-verse lost a net of 251,000 and 134,000 subscribers respectively in the third quarter, and U-verse has experienced far greater losses in previous quarters.

AT&T today said total revenues for its entertainment unit, which includes the TV services, were $12.7 billion for the 2017 fourth quarter. That’s a decline of 3.5 percent compared to the 2016 fourth quarter.

The telco blamed “declines in legacy services and in traditional TV subscribers” for the revenue fall.

AT&T finished the year with 25.2 million video subscribers.

“Traditional video subscribers (from DIRECTV and U-verse) declined 207,000 in the fourth quarter due to heightened competition in traditional pay-TV markets and over-the-top services,” AT&T said in its earnings report.  “Satellite subscribers declined by 147,000 in the quarter and IPTV subscribers (U-verse declined by 60,000. About 85 percent of the traditional video base is now on the satellite platform.”

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— Phillip Swann

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