AT&T: 100,000-Plus Subs Through DirecTV In Q2


AT&T added more than 100,000 DirecTV subscribers in the second quarter -- indicating that the telco shed nearly the same number of Dish Network subs.

AT&T chief financial officer Rick Lindner, on a conference call Thursday with analysts, said the "DirecTV partnership is going well" and resulted in more than 100,000 subscribers for the period.

Overall, AT&T reported 2.210 million satellite video subscribers, up 5,000 sequentially. That suggests the telco saw at least 95,000 Dish customers drop their service in the period.

The telco's agreement with Dish expired Jan. 31, after AT&T decided to exclusively offer DirecTV in areas it does not provide its own U-verse IPTV service.

Analysts have expected the AT&T bundling deal to contribute to a strong second quarter for DirecTV. Credit Suisse, in a report Thursday before AT&T announced quarterly results, said it expects DirecTV to post total net adds of 243,000 for Q2. DirecTV added 570,00 net new subscribers in the first three months of the year, its best quarter in four years.

In the second quarter, AT&T added 248,000 U-verse TV subscribers, to stand at 1.577 million. That makes AT&T the 10th-largest pay-TV provider in the U.S., after the six biggest MSOs, DirecTV, Dish and Verizon FiOS.

Lindner said U-verse services are now approaching an annual run rate of $2 billion in revenue.

The broadband-attach rate for U-verse TV subscribers continues to run above 90%, according to AT&T, while the attach rate for voice-over-IP services is more than 65%. AT&T's U-verse Voice subscribers now total 570,000, up from 31,000 in the second quarter of 2008.

More than 75% of U-verse subscribers have a triple- or quad-play, according to Lindner.

AT&T's total video penetration, combining U-verse and satellite, was 13.8% across all households served. Lindner didn't provide a breakdown for U-verse TV, saying only that overall penetration for the IPTV service is now in double-digits. In areas where U-verse TV has been marketed for at least 18 months, he added, penetration is in the "high teens."