“No more satellites” says DirecTV owners
December 4, 2018
By Chris Forrester
US telco AT&T, which owns DTH operator DirecTV, says it will not be buying any more broadcast satellites.
Instead, said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, DirecTV would be concentrating on building out fibre and OTT services for its customers. “We’re kind of done,” he told analysts during a Nov 29th presentation and earnings call.
As at September 30th, AT&T had 19.625 million DTH subscribers (down 4.8 percent, y-o-y). Meanwhile its OTT subscribers had grown by more than double over the same period to 1.858 million.
DirecTV has a fleet of 10 satellites in orbit to serve both East coast and West coast-based viewers.
The most recent launches of DirecTV satellites for US viewers were DirecTV 14 on Dec 6th 2014. DirecTV-14 has a 15-year planned mission lifetime, or until 2029, and operating from 99 degrees West. On May 27th last year DirecTV-15 was launched to 103 deg West, and in theory, good until 2032.
DirecTV-16 is reportedly being built by Airbus Defence & Space, but – as yet – the contract has not been announced.