DirecTV has reported that first-quarter earnings fell 46 per cent even as subscriber growth hit a four-year high. Chief Executive Chase Carey said he expects intense competition to continue in the pay-TV business, as providers fight for consumers who have become more sensitive to price. Still, he predicted that customers will cut their spending to only a certain point because they “care about quality TV. It is a rich experience. It’s not a commodity.”
In the first quarter, the company earned $201 million, down from $371 million a year ago. Revenue climbed 7 per cent to $4.9 billion. Net new subscribers surged 67 per cent to 460,000, while churn rate hit a 10-year low. DirecTV credited its package of high-definition TV, interactive, sports and digital video recorder services. The company now has 18.1 million subscribers. But subscriber gains came at a cost. Because of discounts, monthly revenue per subscriber rose just 1 per cent to $80.35.