DirecTV loses 28K subscribers in Q3 as cord-cutting fears again take hold

Signaling a concerning trend for pay-TV operators in the North American market, DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) reported subscriber losses of 28,000 for the third quarter.

This compares unfavorably to the 139,000 U.S. customers DirecTV added in Q3 2013 and is juxtaposed with the 12 million video subs lost by satellite competitor Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) in Q3.

DirecTV still saw overall revenue grow 6 percent year-over-year to $8.37 billion, driven by its now-robust Latin American operations, as well increased fees for U.S. customers, who saw their monthly satellite bill grow, on average, by 4.8 percent to $107.27.

The revenue figure beat consensus forecasts of $8.3 billion and also came despite U.S. programming costs rising 5.3 percent year over year.

"In the U.S., although competition for subscribers continues to be intense, revenue growth was very solid while operating profit before depreciation and amortization margin expanded year-over-year for the fifth consecutive quarter," DirecTV CEO Mike White said in a statement.

The El Segundo, Calif.-based satellite company reported adjusted net income of $673 million, with earnings per share rising 4 percent year over year to $1.33. These figures excluded a $62 million charge for unfavorable exchange rates in Venezuela.

After spiking 543,000 in the World Cup-fueled second quarter, DirecTV saw its Latin American subscriber base decline by 119,000 in the third quarter.

The company will conduct its third-quarter conference call with investors at 2 p.m. EST Thursday.

For more:
- visit this DirecTV earnings release
- read this Variety story

Earnings roundup: Sizing up pay TV earnings for the third quarter of 2014

Related links:
AMC uses 'Walking Dead' to scare up leverage in DirecTV talks
Global pay-TV subscribers to reach 1.1B by 2019, ABI Research says
DirecTV Q2: Latin American sub growth triples thanks to World Cup

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