While cable MSOs suffered some cord cutting in the downturn, US pay-TV operator DirecTV added close on 300,000 net new American subscribers during its fourth quarter (to December 31st 2010) and said that growth was ahead of expectations. Indeed, the net growth for Q4 was the best for the past ten years when Latino subscriptions are added into the mix.
Overall, its total subs growth (US and Latin America) topped 667,000, with a net growth of 289,000 in the US. Both regions delivered better-than-expected rises for the operator. DirecTV ended 2010 with more than 19.2 million total US customers. For all of 2010, DirecTV added 663,000 US subscribers, compared with 939,000 in 2009.
DirecTV posted a quarterly profit of $618 million, compared with a loss of $32 million a year ago in the period when there was a charge related to its merger with John Malone’s Liberty Media. Revenue rose 11 per cent to $6.6 billion.
Arch-rival Echostar will unveil its Dish Network numbers on February 24th.