Telcos Account for 45% of DirecTV’s Gains

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BellSouth Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. accounted for almost one-half of net direct-broadcast satellite subscriber additions for DirecTV Inc. in the fourth quarter of 2005, which is believed to be the first time DirecTV’s telco share exceeded its own additions.

DirecTV added 200,000 subscribers in the quarter. With BellSouth reporting 40,000 additions and Verizon 50,000, the two telcos accounted for 90,000 additions, or 45% of DirecTV’s total.

EchoStar Communications Corp. has yet to announce its fourth-quarter numbers, but SBC Communications Inc. (now part of AT&T Inc.) said it added 134,000 video subscribers in 2005. Verizon said it now counts 350,000 DirecTV subscribers, while BellSouth said it has 523,000.