AT&T had made a promise that DirecTV and U-Verse combined will add users to their services in 2016 and they are sticking to the pledge. This prediction is quite questionable now, as the two services together lost a total of 103,000 video subscribers. Although DirecTV made a gain of 670,000 video users, but U-Verse lost a total of 773,000 users in the first quarter of the fiscal year.
AT&T took over DirecTV last year, and has acknowledged that they are trying to shift U-Verse users to DirecTV services, as they believe that this will help them generate more revenue per users in long run. However, at the same time, they have also said that they will offset defections with gains to post overall addition for both of the services.
CFO John Stephens said at the Merrill Lynch/Bank of America’s media conference that the company is still on track, and they are learning new tricks to efficiently market both of their services. He also believes that the subscriber base of DirecTV will go up even further in the second half of the year due to the NFL Sunday Ticket, which started in the third quarter. The NFL Sunday Ticket, which is a pay package of Sunday Afternoon NFL Games, is available exclusively on DirecTV.
“We are growing video connections and customers in the second quarter when you take those other opportunities into account. We did expect it to be second half weighted…because of the NFL (Sunday Ticket),” Stephens said at the meet. He also reaffirmed that AT&T is planning to introduce a DirecTV branded streaming service by the fourth quarter of 2016, even though he did not reveal a specific date for the release. As per some reports, this service will not need a satellite set top box or dish to avail the service.
DirecTV and AT&T has also revealed that Discovery, NBC, HBO, and ESPN channels will be available in the streaming service, but they have not yet released any further details on the complete lineup or costs. However, Stephens said that the streaming service from DirecTV would not feature all the content from the DirecTV Family package.