AT&T’s epic DirecTV losses mount as another 954,000 video customers flee

AT&T had 25.5M TV users in June 2018, is down to 18.4M after latest loss.

A DirecTV satellite dish mounted to the outside of a building.

Enlarge / A DirecTV satellite dish seen outside a bar in Portland, Oregon, in October 2019. (credit: Getty Images | hapabapa)

rapid exodus of users from DirecTV and other AT&T-operated video services.

In the three months ending June 30, AT&T reported a net loss of 954,000 video customers in earnings results released today. That includes an 886,000-customer net loss from AT&T’s “Premium TV” services, a category that includes DirecTV satellite, U-verse wireline service, and the AT&T TV online service that mimics cable TV. Another 68,000 customers left AT&T TV Now, a separate streaming service formerly known as DirecTV Now.

Higher prices helped drive the customer losses. As it has in past quarters, AT&T said its practice of giving out fewer promotional-pricing deals contributed to the customer losses for AT&T TV Now. AT&T said the Premium TV loss was “due to competition as well as lower gross adds from the continued focus on adding higher-value customers.” AT&T would like customers who leave DirecTV or U-verse to switch to the AT&T TV online service and thus remain in the “Premium TV” category, but any gains in the premium streaming service obviously haven’t been high enough to offset the exiting satellite and wireline customers.

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