DirecTV Inc. added 292,000 net subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2002,
giving the direct-broadcast satellite company 1.05 million additions in
calendar-year 2002 for a total of 9.49 million subscribers at year-end 2002.
But the company expects net additions to fall to between 750,000 and 800,000
subscribers in 2003.
President Roxanne Austin said DirecTV would institute a modest $2-per-month
price increase on some packages in the second quarter to cover programming
She added that the price increase, the shutdown of DirecTV DSL and increased
cable competition/bundling contributed to the company's lowered expectations in
DirecTV said fourth-quarter revenues hit $1.97 billion, a 15 percent jump
over $1.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2001.
Earnings before interest, taxes, debt and amortization reached $44.8 million,
compared with an EBITDA loss of $5.3 million in the year-earlier period.
Austin said churn dropped to 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter and 1.6
percent for the year -- the lowest it has been since 1999. She added that full
year churn was 1.8 percent in 2001.
DirecTV expects personal-video-recorder-equipped set-tops to account for 10
percent of all sales next year, Austin said.