AT&T’s ‘irrational’ DirecTV promotions didn’t help it much in Q3, analyst says

DirecTV Now
AT&T pegged its losses across linear platforms at around 390,000 during Q3.

Despite deep price cuts to its linear and virtual DirecTV services, AT&T said it ended up losing around 90,000 subscribers in the third quarter. 

This caused MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett to question why AT&T was so “irrationally promotional” in the first place. 

“Much has been made of AT&T’s $10 offers for DirecTV Now, their giveaways of HBO, and their promotional pricing of DirecTV satellite service for as little as $25 a month,” Moffett wrote in a note to investors this morning. 

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceVideo!

The Video industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Cable, Media and Entertainment, Telco, and Tech companies rely on FierceVideo for the latest news, trends, and analysis on video creation and distribution, OTT delivery technologies, content licensing, and advertising strategies. Sign up today to get news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

“But it is now clear that none of that promotionality [sic] really helped that much. At best, AT&T’s satellite offers may have slowed the erosion of DirecTV from what otherwise would have been even worse. This is about industry growth rates, not market share.”

RELATED: AT&T says it lost 390K linear pay-TV subscribers in Q3

In an 8-K filing to the SEC last week, AT&T pegged its losses across linear platforms at around 390,000 during Q3. It also said it gained 300,000 DirecTV Now users during the period. 

With AT&T pulling the Band-Aid off early on the bad Q3 subscriber news for its linear satellite platform, many telecom eyes are turning to rival satellite operator Dish Network. Dish hasn’t announced a call date for its Q3 earnings, but analysts suspect another tough quarter in Englewood, Colorado. 

“We believe the prospects for the satellite operators are distinctly unattractive,” Moffett added. “Without a broadband component, to offset pressures in video, Dish Network and AT&T’s DirecTV will continue not only to lose share to OTT video, but also to lose share to cable, and they will see increasing pressure on ARPUT as well.”

Read more on

Suggested Articles

There is no one size fits all strategy when it comes to using multi-CDNs to deliver video.

Ad-supported video streaming service Tubi says it now has more than 20 million monthly active users after record growth throughout the first half of 2019.

Viacom’s BET Networks is launching its own subscription video streaming service, BET+, as a joint venture with Tyler Perry Studios. The service is launching in…