AT&T Loses Satellite Subscribers in 3Q

AT&T's satellite TV sales took a negative turn during the third quarter.

The telco giant reported a net loss for its satellite sales efforts, a decline that amounted to 53,000 satellite connections during the three-month period that ended Sept. 30. AT&T was serving 2.182 million satellite customers at the close of the third quarter, down from the 2.235 million connections at the end of the second quarter.

In its quarterly results, AT&T listed the satellite efforts as including both DISH Network and DIRECTV. AT&T has an exclusive sales and marketing relationship with DISH, but has remaining customers that were part of DIRECTV's relationship with BellSouth, which was acquired by AT&T.

Nonetheless, the net loss in satellite customers may present a challenge for DISH, which has the lion's share of DBS subscribers with the telco giant.

In September, AT&T announced that beginning Jan. 31 it would partner with DIRECTV on an exclusive basis for the sales and marketing of satellite TV services.

In addition, AT&T reported that its U-verse TV offering netted 232,000 subscribers in the third quarter, up from 170,000 netted in the second quarter. At the end of September, subscribers to the IPTV service totaled 781,000.