Advanced Television

DirecTV’s Latino subs “shattered records”

February 19, 2013

By Chris Forrester

Pay-TV broadcaster DirecTV is growing its Latin American subscribers at a faster rate than even the best of its US growth, says CEO Mike White, talking to analysts.  “[Overall] full year gross additions soared to all-time highs, up over 5 per cent from the prior record set in 2011. This considerable achievement culminated in the largest annual net subscriber gain in DirecTV’s history of nearly 3.8 million net new subscribers, including Mexico, furthering our position as the world’s largest provider of pay-TV video services.”

Drilling down to the Latino region specifically, White added: “Our competitive advantages and operating strengths continue to drive subscriber growth to all-time highs as we expanded our share of the growing pay-TV household market throughout the region. For the first time ever, full year gross additions not only exceeded those posted by DirecTV US but also shattered the record set by our US business in 2011, adding over 4.4 million gross additions while attaining more than 2.4 million net additions, which was also our best net ever.”

“The overall macroeconomic forecast [for the Latin America region] is more favorable than the US, indicating a climate that’s still relatively stable and growing. Household formation continues to grow, along with disposable income per household as the region-wide migration of millions of people into the middle-class continues inexorably. In parallel with these macro trends, pay television continues to gain acceptance as a must-have consumer product, supporting strong overall growth prospects, said White.”

Bruce Churchill, who runs the Latino operation (EVP/CEO of DirecTV Latin America] reminded analysts that DirecTV’s overall subs numbers did not include Sky Mexico which were not consolidated into DirecTV’s figures (and where its local partner is Televisa).

DirecTV Latin America added 658,000 net new subs during its pre-Christmas quarter, taking the total to 10.3 million overall. “Televisa has not yet released full year 2012 results, so I’m not at liberty to discuss SKY Mexico’s result in today’s call. However, you have seen their results through the first 3 quarters of the year. And based on those results alone and the generally favourable outlook for the Mexican economy, I can express our continued enthusiasm and positive outlook for that business.”

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