AT&T reported a net loss of 49,000 video customers in the United States while focussing on its DIRECTV satellite subsidiary. The company added 342,000 satellite subscribers in the second quarter of 2016, taking it to a total of 20.45 million in the United States. The number of subscribers to AT&T U-verse TV meanwhile declined by 391,000. AT&T expects further growth to come from the launch of its DIRECTV NOW online television and video service.
DIRECTV has gained nearly a million subscribers in the year since it was acquired by AT&T, which revised the method of counting customers and apparently shed 868,000 satellite television subscribers. It is the fourth consecutive quarterly increase in subscribers subsequently reported for DIRECTV. AT&T says it is emphasising the satellite platform, on which it now has 80% of its television subscribers.
AT&T U-verse has meanwhile lost 1.10 million television subscribers over four quarters, taking its total to 4.84 million, down from a high of 5.97 million.
Between DIRECTV and U-verse, the combined number of AT&T television subscribers is down by 200,000 year on year, as tracked by the informitv Multiscreen Index. Rival DISH Network lost 1.11 million television customers over the same period.
The DIRECTV Latin America division reported 87,000 net subscriber additions, mainly in its Pan Americana business. So overall, the number of AT&T video subscribers increased by 38,000 in the second quarter of 2016. Sky Mexico added 121,000 subscribers.
Later in 2016 will see the launch of DIRECTV NOW, over a wired or wireless broadband connection on network devices. It will also offer DIRECTV Mobile, an online video service made for mobile devices, and DIRECTV Preview, showcasing programming available on DIRECTV.
The company describes DIRECTV NOW as a “game changer” in the provision of pay-television services as part of an integrated communications company.