AT&T scales back Q3 video sub losses to 627,000

AT&T said total domestic HBO and HBO Max subscribers exceeded 38 million and 57 million internationally, respectively. (AT&T)

AT&T’s new traditional video service strategy showed signs of improvement during the third quarter as video subscriber losses scaled back to 627,000.

While still an extremely high numbers, it’s fewer than half of the 1.358 million total video subscribers the company lost in the same quarter last year. During the most recent quarter, AT&T lost 37,000 AT&T TV Now subscribers and 590,000 premium TV subscribers. The company gave credit to AT&T TV for helping to offset continued rapid subscriber declines at DirecTV, its struggling satellite service.

AT&T ended the third quarter with 17.1 million premium TV subscribers (down 16.3% year over year) and 683,000 AT&T TV Now subscribers (down 40.3% year over year).

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AT&T’s total operating revenues for its Entertainment Group fell 10.2% annually to approximately $10 billion. Video entertainment, though down 12.2% annually, still accounted for nearly 70% of segment revenues. But high-speed internet was the only segment group to grow revenues during the quarter – though just slightly – thanks to improved total broadband net additions.

“We added more than 350,000 fiber broadband customers and are on track to grow our fiber base by more than 25% this year. And we continue to grow and scale HBO Max, with total domestic HBO and HBO Max subscribers topping 38 million — well ahead of our expectations for the full year,” said AT&T CEO John Stankey in a statement.

AT&T said total domestic HBO and HBO Max subscribers exceeded 38 million and 57 million internationally, respectively. The company also said that HBO Max activations more than doubled from second-quarter levels and that the HBO Max advertising-supported service is still on track to launch in 2021.

WarnerMedia’s total operating revenues dropped 10% annually but that was primarily driven by a steep decline at Warner Bros., which has seen its theatrical product revenues severely impacted by the pandemic.