* Second-quarter revenue up 9 pct
* DirecTV lost more subscribers than Dish in quarter
* First ever quarterly loss of U.S. customers
By Liana B. Baker
Aug 2 For the first time ever, DirecTV
lost subscribers during the quarter in the United States as more
customers than expected canceled their service with the top U.S.
For the three months ended June 30, DirecTV lost 52,000
subscribers. Analysts on average had forecast a loss of 36,000,
according to StreetAccount data. It ended the quarter with 19.91
million subscribers in the U.S.
"The negative subs will likely be the story du jour," said
ISI analyst Vijay Jayant in a research note. While DirecTV lost
more subscribers than Jayant expected, he said the company,
which is focused on its higher paying customers, would benefit
from these "wise, economic consumer retention efforts" in the
DirecTV said in a statement that some of the subscriber
losses were caused by its stricter credit policies and its focus
on higher paying customers. DirecTV also said it attracted fewer
subscribers through its telecom sales channel in the quarter. It
partners with Verizon in the U.S. to sell its TV services.
In Latin America, where the company sees much higher growth,
it added 645,000 new subscribers, which beat analysts' estimates
of 549,000 subscribers.
DirecTV's major U.S. rival, Dish, fared better with
subscribers in the second quarter, and may be attracting some of
Dish, the No. 2 satellite provider, said in July it lost
10,000 subscribers in the same period, a better-than-expected
performance and a vast improvement from a year ago when it lost
On Thursday, cable provider Time Warner cable said it lost
169,000 video subscribers in the quarter. Click here for more on
Time Warner Cable:
DirecTV said its operating profit margins for the first half
of the year were pressured by higher programming costs. The
company was in the spotlight in July during a high profile
dispute over programming costs between DirecTV and Viacom
. DirecTV's customers were left without 26 of Viacom's
networks, including MTV and Comedy Central for about 10 days
until the two companies reached an agreement.