AT&T said its new virtual MVPD service, DirecTV Now, added just over 200,000 subscribers in its first month on the market, missing the expectations of at least one analyst by a full half.
AT&T revealed the number in an 8-K filing with the SEC, ahead of next week’s fourth-quarter earnings report. The company said its services generated “more than 200,000 video net adds, entirely driven by DirecTV Now.”
The revelation came as equity research firm Cowan & Company released a pre-earnings release note to investors that said, “Expect color on the DTV Now launch including subscriber adds in which we assume +400K adds.”
In recent quarters, the subscriber gains made by the traditional DirecTV Now platform have been all or more than offset by the TV customer declines of AT&T’s U-verse platform. They apparently offset each other evenly in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, DirecTV Now’s highly anticipated launch occurred on Nov. 30, making any fourth-quarter metric a benchmark for how the service performed in its first month.
It’s worth noting that Wall Street doesn’t seem to have a consensus on how the new v-MVPD product should be performing at this point.
“We believe this DTV Now sub add is ahead of expectations,” said Wells Fargo’s Jennifer Fritzsche in a note sent out this morning.
On Thursday, Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn tweeted that the DirecTV Now service was “peaking” at 35,000 simultaneous users, seemingly a solid metric for a service that’s been on the market for less than two months.
The subscriber reports follow a tough week for DirecTV Now’s operators, who have endured a steady stream of negative press reports about the service’s technical glitches.