DirecTV shows subs gains

DirecTV Group was one of the few pay-TV companies to gain subscribers in the third quarter, though earnings stayed steady because of the higher costs it incurred attracting and serving those new customers.

DirecTV said that a marketing partnership with AT&T accounted for most of the increase in US subscribers. DirecTV said that net income was largely flat at $366 million. Earnings suffered because of higher marketing and equipment costs to attract and service new customers, though the company said acquisition costs fell on average for every customer it gained.

US customers ARPU was $85.32 per month for DirecTV's services, up 2 per cent from last year, in part because of fee increases. The number of subscribers getting both high-definition plans and leasing digital video recorders, DirecTV's most valuable customers, was up 50 per cent in the quarter from a year ago.

DirecTV said that after factoring in cancellations, it added 136,000 subscribers during the quarter, ending with 18.4 million, slightly lower than the 156,000 net gains in the same period last year.