AT&T Lost 4.5M TV Subs In Past Year


AT&T today released its second quarter earnings report and the numbers continue to paint a horrifying picture for the company’s TV business.

According to the report, AT&T lost 4.5 million TV subscribers from June 30, 2019 to June 30, 2020, falling to 18.4 million from 22.9 million. The numbers include losses for DIRECTV, U-verse and AT&T TV Now.

DIRECTV and U-verse combined for 3.920 million sub losses in that time period while AT&T TV Now, the company’s live streaming service, lost 580,000 customers. (AT&T now combines subscriber numbers for DIRECTV and U-verse rather than break them out.)

In the second quarter of 2020, DIRECTV and U-verse (and AT&T TV, the company’s new Internet-based TV service) combined for a net loss of 886,000 subs while AT&T TV Now lost a net of 68,000.

The subscriber defections triggered a 11.4 percent decline in TV-based revenues from June 30,2019 to June 30, 2020.

The continued loss of subscribers will likely spark more speculation that AT&T will try to sell DIRECTV in the coming months, perhaps to rival Dish. Despite buying it for $49 billion in 2015, AT&T has struggled to find a successful formula for the satellite TV service. DIRECTV and U-verse have combined to lose more than seven million subscribers in the last five years.

AT&T has acknowledged the difficulties facing the pay TV business, and DIRECTV in particular, and has said it will focus more on AT&T TV and HBO Max, which it launched in May.

In the good news department, AT&T reported that HBO and HBO Max combined for 36.3 million U.S. subscribers at the second quarter, a five percent increase from June 30, 2019.

Need to buy something today? Please buy it using an link on this page. This site receives a small portion of each purchase, which helps us continue to provide these articles.

Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at Please include your first name and hometown in your message.

— Phillip Swann


8 comments on “AT&T Lost 4.5M TV Subs In Past Year”

  1. Dear AT&T – we were perfectly happy with Directv until you purchased it, you decided to go cheap and take the excellent customer service in the USA and move it to the Philippines and destroyed it. We were fine with a dish on our roof and occasional loss of signal during thunderstorms because otherwise it WAS a terrific value. Now, you ruined it and raised prices.

    Please sell to DISH!!!!

  2. Oh ya sell to Dish. Well then at least Dish would have some channels to show.Just lost another dozen or so. My experience with AT&T customer service isn’t that much different than it was before. And I’ve been with Direct for over 20 years. Certainly not perfect, customer service leaves much to be desired but not much different than Comcast or any number of others. With all the choices out there I never understood why people so terribly dissatisfied don’t just switch. I may myself soon but it will be because of price. I enjoy following the Answer Man but he certainly has an anti Direct TV bias but that’s fine too. Have a great day all! Just my 2 cents…..

    1. YOU obviously Haven’t called At&T Overseas Customer Service lately.
      AT&T Customer Service Service is almost NON Existent.
      It Rates at the Bottom of the list.

      Comparing it to Comcast is like
      comparing a Train Wreck to another Train Wreck.

      Almost any Overseas CS is a DISASTER.
      They do NOT understand how things work in the USA
      and you can NOT explain it to them.

      The difference “Before” and “NOW” is NOT even in the same Ball Park.
      Before 2015 DirecTV WAS the GOLD Standard of Customer Service.
      It was ALL in the USA, Friendly, Helpful, Knowledgeable and WORKED

      NOW Almost anytime you call, they promise things that do NOT happen.
      Sometimes the Language is impossible to understand and
      many times they DON’T know what you are asking about or
      Barely know what DirecTV is.
      Let alone being Transferred until you forgot what you called about.

      You mention switching. That in itself is NOT easy.
      AT&T still has the (2 YEAR) Contract, which is a Screw Job for starters.
      Then you have to go thru many Hoops to even figure what Package you want.
      They are ALL Different with LOTS of Confusing options.

      Lastly your 2 cents about the Answer Man is NOT just his opinion, It IS EVERYONE’S.
      and what he says is FACT about anti Direct TV bias.
      Ever Read a GOOD Comment about DirecTV ?

      Good luck on your “SWITCH” and Saving Money.
      You are in for a Surprise.
      Also a 20 year customer

    2. Direct TV customer service is the worst of the worst. Most all foreigners that you cannot understand, and if they promise you something, just forget it. They NEVER follow through. That is the reason I switched to Dish and have been very happy since.

  3. We will probably leave Direct TV soon also. Since we lost the eastern feed channels that we enjoyed for 25 years there is no need to continue paying the ridiculous prices.,

  4. I can only speak to my experience as you to yours. I called a few months ago and spoke to a very nice gentleman here in the sates who promptly took care of my issue. Again to each his own and again instead of complaining switch that’s all I said. And by the way I also have a Comcast account for my daughters home and recently spoke to them and it was much worse than my Direct TV experience. I guess it,s just each persons individual experience.And apparently not everyones cause it’s not mine! Have a great day.

    1. You got LUCKY

      “I called a few months ago and spoke to a very nice gentleman
      here in the states who promptly took care of my issue.”
      This is a rarity.

      You reached a left over from the GOLDEN AGE of DTV.
      NOT to many of them left.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.