DirecTV wins subs with offers

DirecTV  posted a higher quarterly profit as it won US video subscribers away from rival cable with a giveaway of its exclusive National Football League games package.

But the leading US DTH provider missed analysts profit forecasts due to expenses related to its rapid rate of customer additions and rising programing costs including the multibillion dollar NFL contract.

Third-quarter profit rose to $516 million, from $479 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 14 per cent to $6.84 billion.

During the quarter, DirecTV added more than 327,000 customers in the United States which it said was its highest figure in seven years for net additions in the third quarter.

DirecTV heavily promoted its NFL Sunday Ticket $300 package of out-of-market football games, offering it for free for a year as an incentive for new subscribers who switched from a rival service. The company agreed to pay around $4 billion for the four-year exclusive rights to NFL live games.

ARPU rose to $92.21 due to price increases on programming packages and leased set-top boxes. It also managed to lower its average churn rate down to 1.62 per cent.

DirecTV U.S. ended the quarter with 19.8 million customers.

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