DirecTV Average Revenue per Customer Tops $102 per Month

Overall Q3 sales increase 6% to $7.9 billion as satcaster cites higher revenue per customer

DirecTV gained a net 139,000 subscribers in the U.S. in the third quarter after dropping 84,000 in Q2, and the satcaster’s financial results rose primarily because customers are forking over more coin.

The average monthly revenue per subscriber in the U.S. increased to $102.37 — breaking into triple digits for the first time — rising 6.2% from a year earlier. DirecTV said the increase was mostly due to higher advanced receiver service fees, price hikes for programming packages, higher fees for a new enhanced-warranty program, as well as higher pay-per-view revenues.

DirecTV CEO Mike White has said the company expects to raise prices again next year. Its most recent price increase, in February 2013, boosted customer bills an average of 4.5%. White, at an industry conference in September, said 2014 rate hikes will not be as much but “while it might be not as much, it is still going to be meaningful.”

Overall, the satcaster posted Q3 revenue of $7.88 billion, up 6%, and net income of $699 million, an increase of 24%. Earnings per share climbed to $1.28 for the period, up from 90 cents in the year-earlier period. U.S. revenue increased 7% to $6.17 billion, with the company citing growth in ARPU along with a larger subscriber base.

SEE ALSO: DirecTV CEO: We’ll Have to Raise TV Prices Again in 2014

DirecTV U.S. ended the quarter with 20.16 million subscribers, compared with 19.98 million subscribers a year ago.

The second-largest U.S. pay TV provider said it net adds for the period were helped by a lower average monthly churn rate of 1.61% (compared with 1.74% a year ago). DirecTV said Q3 2012 churn was higher in part because of the carriage dispute with Viacom that resulted in the removal of several channels for nine days.

DirecTV Latin America continued to grow but at a slower pace than last year. In the third quarter, DTVLA revenues increased 5% to $1.66 billion mainly on subscriber gains; that was partially offset by an 11.7% decline in ARPU mostly driven by unfavorable changes in foreign exchange rates, the company said.

The Latin America group reported net subscriber additions of 260,000 — less than half 543,000 in the prior-year quarter. DirecTV cited higher churn and lower gross adds because of limitations on importing set-top boxes for new customers in Venezuela, as well as lower post-paid subscriber additions in Argentina and Brazil mostly associated with “stricter credit and sales filters.”

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  1. demir says:

    $100/month is a lot for me, especially considering that I am not watching most channels. I am paying $8 a month for Netflix and using Amazon Prime (believe $80/year) and get more movies and series than I have time to watch. The only issue is lack of sports and I am sure that gap will be filled in the streaming world soon!

  2. JoMcG says:

    It’s a whole new game out there, and you need to learn how to play it. I switched from Charter to DirecTV 5 years ago… partially because Charter was getting too expensive and their service (transmission, not customer service) was really poor for what I was paying, plus I was switching to HD, which would have made it even more expensive, and I knew their infrastructure would never be able to deliver the quality. I’ve had way better service and customer service from DirecTV than I ever had with Charter, but I do agree, the price is getting out of control. What do do? Call them and tell them I’m going to switch… maybe Verizon, maybe back to Charter, maybe even to Dish. I’ll do my homework, see what they’re offering for how much (although the reality is that there’s little difference in the pricing) If they cut me a deal, great. If not, I go somewhere else. Is it a pain to do that? Yes, but it’s a new world order. I have to say, I’ve never had any customer service issues with DirecTV, but you do need to know what you’re taking about, and how to approach them. Trying to get hold of the CEO does not solve the problem… it’s like trying to get the mayor to fix a problem with your building permit… you’re talking to the wrong guy, and not asking the right questions. Caveat emptor!

  3. Louise says:

    I’m elderly they added a 2year contract w/o my permission refused to change it and lied tried contacting the CEO unable too make contact

  4. rmc says:

    I am so glad I no longer have Directv. Never again! They were always removing/losing channels but the price was steadily increasing. I had a customer service manager (Philippines) hang up on me because I called them out for price gauging their customers. It’s true if the weather is bad….no signal.

  5. rgold02 says:

    I have not any pay TV in many many yaers. I just went with Direct TV. I hope I did not make a 2 year mistake!

  6. Just Confused says:

    It’s comparing apples to oranges but less advantaged consumers continue to realize what a great media resource their PUBLIC LIBRARY is…….

    or am I……

  7. Michael Co says:

    And 95% of the channels people receive, and pay for, are never watched. This includes infomercials, religious, home shopping, preview, pay per view, foreign language, and multiple music channels. But it is impossible to put together a package that actually includes the most desired and watched channels without upgrading to a higher priced level. My biggest complaint is heavy rain or snow results in no service.

    • Katie says:

      I agree with you 100%! And half of the stations mirror each other – how many stations do we need on “How to grow great hair?” – I did not have a choice of tv services where we are living and they make you take out a two year contract. It rains, snows, and the wind blows and no tv service and no credit on your bill. I cannot wait until my contract is expired.

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