AT&T Sheds Video Subs in Q4

Adds 214K DirecTV Subs as U-verse TV Drops 240K
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AT&T turned in a mixed Q4 with respect to pay TV subs as DirecTV’s base rose amid declines for U-verse TV, the telco's IP-powered video service.

AT&T said it added 214,000 U.S. satellite TV subs in Q4 and dropped 240,000 U-verse TV customers as the company “focused on profitability and increasingly emphasized satellite sales.” AT&T ended Q4 with 25.4 million video subscribers.

DirecTV Latin America lost 34,000 subs in Q4, driven by declined in Brazil, and ended the quarter with 12.5 million subs. Spain’s Telefonica is rumored to be one of several potential suitors for DirecTV’s Latin American satellite assets.

AT&T’s Entertainment Group posted a net gain of 171,000 IP broadband subscribers in Q4, though total broadband subs were down 37,000 amid fewer U-verse promotions and the aforemantioend decline of U-verse TV subs.

Elsewhere on the broadband front, AT&T said GigaPower, its fiber-based residential-focused 1-Gig platform, is now offered in 20 metro areas, with plans to expand it to an additional 36 metro areas.

AT&T had 2.8 million wireless net adds in the quarter, while seeing its 4G LTE network expand to 355 POPs.

Q4 consolidated revenues rose 22%, to $42.1 billion, largely  due to the acquisition of DirecTV, which closed in July 2015. AT&T posted earnings of 65 cents per share, up 12.5%. Analysts were expecting earnings of 63 cents on revenues of $42.75 billion.

Revenues for AT&T’s Entertainment Group for 132%, to $13.0 billion, again due to the addition of DirecTV.

“We now have a unique set of capabilities that positions us for growth and also gives us a strategic advantage in providing consumers and businesses the integrated mobile, video and data solutions they want,” Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.  “Our DIRECTV integration is going well, and the customer response to our new integrated mobile and entertainment offers is strong. Throughout this year, we plan to launch a variety of new video entertainment packages that give customers even more choices.”