DIRECTV's Carey: Biz Has Never Been Stronger

While DIRECTV has accomplished a lot with its high-def push and other initiatives, the DBS company recognizes the ongoing competitive threat in the video business, CEO Chase Carey said during the company's investor day Thursday.

Carey told the gathering that DIRECTV "has never been stronger." And he said the company's accomplishments from previous quarters "really spoke to the strength of our business."

DIRECTV's high-def push and focus on sports programming have distinguished the satellite TV company from its competitors, the CEO said. "HD has been a fabulous success. And our HD leadership position is something we will add to," Carey said.

Carey and other DIRECTV executives stressed that competition could get tough in the coming quarters. While cable companies and DISH Network experienced challenges in 2007, "that will make them even tougher competitors in 2008," Carey said.

The top executive called FiOS TV from Verizon "an emerging threat" given that the fiber-supported video service requires a build-out covering several years.

As for improvements at DIRECTV, Carey said the company is focused on developing its service quality and customer satisfaction. DIRECTV also will continue to work with partners for broadband services.

Looking forward, DIRECTV's presentation at the conference suggested that the company is poised to generate cumulative net additions between 1.5 million and 2 million during the next three years. The company also expects capital expenditures to fall to $200 million this year.

What DIRECTV expects to keep pushing is the enrollment of customers for advanced services. In its presentation, the company said it expects the penetration of HD and DVR services to grow to 50 percent of customers this year, eventually climbing to a projected 70 percent in 2010.