DirecTV Adds 405K Net Subs

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DirecTV Inc. added 405,000 net new subscribers during the fourth quarter, the
direct-broadcast satellite company announced Tuesday.

That raises the third-largest U.S. multichannel-video provider's subscriber
total to 10.7 million.

It tallied 1.345 million net new subscribers for the year.

DirecTV president Roxanne Austin credited internal changes, such as boosting
the company's customer-service operations, with helping to reduce customer
churn.

'Our fourth quarter and year-end results make it abundantly clear that
DirecTV is highly focused on its business and demand for our product remains
very strong despite a soft economy and heightened competition,' Austin said in a
press release.

Hughes Electronics Corp. plans to release further DirecTV financial results
Jan. 15.

Despite proposed plans to merge with DBS rival EchoStar Communications Corp.,
Hughes and DirecTV must continue to market aggressively against its suitor in
case the merger falls through.

DirecTV's fourth-quarter numbers beat projections in a Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. report
issued earlier Tuesday.

The report also reaffirmed its projections that EchoStar had added 400,000
net new subscribers during the fourth quarter.

At press time, EchoStar had not yet released its fourth-quarter or year-end
financials.

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