DirecTV says 3D will be king, probably
Written by Chris Forrester
Sunday, 09 May 2010 10:24

DirecTV CEO Michael White, talking after the broadcaster’s May 6 results announcement, said he expects 3D to give it its next competitive edge, but he admitted that only time would tell as to how many viewers bought into 3D.

Mr White acknowledged that wide adoption of 3D TV requires that more content be produced in 3D. More consumers also must buy 3D TV sets and be comfortable with 3D glasses. He also admitted that not all shows will be suitable for 3D. “Is someone going to watch the evening news in 3D? Probably not,” he said.

White added DirecTV is not planning to buy another company to get more 3D or other content. In June, DirecTV will debut four 3D channels: ESPN 3D and three of its own channels.

Other newsworthy elements to emerge from the analyst’s call: DirecTV is focusing on adding subscribers to its Latin American business, and isn’t considering an IPO or spinoff of the Latino business. “It’s a far more compelling idea for our shareholders for us to maximize the potential of that asset. I don’t quite understand the logic of taking an asset that has not yet reached its full potential and selling it at a discount in some sort of IPO.”

As to its home market, DirecTV net gain of 100,000 customers was the company's smallest quarterly increase ever, according to Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett. DirecTV ended the quarter with 18.7 million subscribers. DirecTV earned US$558m in the quarter ended March 31, up from US$201m a year ago. Revenue rose 14% to US$5.6bn from US$4.9m a year ago.