×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AT&T Warns Investors of Heavy Q3 DirecTV Subscriber Losses

AT&T will report heavy subscriber losses at DirecTV in its third-quarter earnings later this month, bleeding that the telco giant chalked up to heightened competition in the pay-TV arena and the wallop of the summer hurricane season.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late Wednesday, AT&T said it would post a net loss of 90,000 traditional video subscribers for the quarter, offset by the addition of nearly 300,000 subscribers to its DirecTV Now streaming service. AT&T reports its third-quarter earnings on Oct. 24.

As MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett observed, the net loss means DirecTV is losing about 390,000 traditional subscribers — customers that had been paying at a higher rate than the low-cost DirecTV Now service. Moffett chalked it up to consumers moving away from the traditional big pay-TV bundle.

“It should be clear that DirecTV, like all of its cable peers, is suffering from the ravages of cord-cutting,” Moffett wrote.

The analyst also noted that the steep decline in traditional subs means that it is “all but unthinkable” that AT&T will make an effort to acquire DirecTV’s satellite TV rival Dish Network. Moffett also projects heavy video losses for Dish Network.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the wheels are falling off satellite TV,” he wrote.

The hurricanes that battered the southeastern U.S. and earthquakes in Mexico took a toll on AT&T’s wireless and video services, the company said.

AT&T warned that the drop in traditional video subs will hurt its revenues and margins. Adjusted consolidated operating income for its entertainment group will be flat year-over-year. But AT&T reiterated in the filing its full-year guidance of mid single-digit earnings growth and free cash flow of around $18 billion.

The subscriber losses at DirecTV underscore AT&T’s desire to diversify its holdings by adding Time Warner’s studio and networks to its portfolio, even though the earnings power of TW’s cable networks is also impacted by the erosion of the traditional pay-TV bundle. AT&T and Time Warner are said to be expecting formal word from the Justice Department on its review of the $85.4 billion merger by mid-November.

More TV

  • Gillian AndersonX-Files press conference, Century City,

    Gillian Anderson to Play Margaret Thatcher in Season 4 of 'The Crown' (Report)

    “The Crown” has found its Iron Lady. Gillian Anderson is said to have signed on to play British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of the much-praised Netflix drama series. Anderson’s casting was first reported by the Sunday Times. A Netflix rep declined to comment on the report. Anderson is the latest notable [...]

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content