DirecTV shows sub strength, wireless ambitions

DirecTV reported fourth-quarter earnings that included a 5 percent net income decline, but the satellite TV provider still impressed Wall Street with its net subscriber additions for the quarter. DirecTV added 301,000 customers, an increase of 9.4 percent over the same quarter last year, and well ahead of analyst expectations of about 224,000. The company now has 17.6 million subscribers, some of whom come via partnerships with the three largest U.S. telcos.

Earlier this month DirecTV was reunited with one of those telcos, AT&T, as the companies kicked off a new partnership that makes DirecTV part of quadruple-play service packages. DirecTV apparently likes the idea of being paired with wireless service, because company officials said they will pursue wireless-focused partnerships intently this year, an area where the company's core cable TV competition has faltered of late. Wireless and TV services have not proved easy bedfellows, as many cable firms might attest to despite long-standing ambitions to make such combinations work. But, current capabilities like remote DVR scheduling and new features like three-screen media sharing might make the packaging of TV and wireless more attractive in the near term.

For more:
- The Associated Press has the earnings story
- Telephony reports on DirecTV's mobile plans

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