AT&T says TV losses have peaked after latest loss of 1.3 million customers

AT&T says TV losses have peaked after latest loss of 1.3 million customers
Enlarge / AT&T service van driving in June 2019 in Oakdale, California.

Getty Pictures | Andrei Stanescu

AT&T thinks its TV-customer losses have peaked, however that is not saying a lot, as the corporate has misplaced 5 million subscribers since 2016 and greater than 1.three million in the latest quarter alone.

“It is powerful and we’ll undergo it for the remainder of this 12 months. However we’re optimistic we have hit the height of losses within the third quarter,” AT&T CFO John Stephens stated at a Wells Fargo convention for buyers yesterday, based on the Hollywood Reporter.

In Q3, AT&T reported a web lack of 1,163,000 prospects within the premium TV class, which incorporates DirecTV satellite tv for pc and U-verse wireline TV providers. AT&T additionally reported a web lack of 195,000 prospects of AT&T TV Now, the web streaming video service previously often known as DirecTV Now, bringing the whole TV-customer loss to 1.36 million.

Going again additional, AT&T has misplaced almost 5 million satellite-and-wireline TV prospects for the reason that finish of 2016, when it had a complete of 25.three million subscribers in that class.

Even losses of 1.2 million prospects per quarter going ahead would show Stephens right about AT&T’s losses having peaked. Twine-cutting traits recommend that DirecTV satellite tv for pc and U-verse TV’s development days are lengthy gone, however AT&T will attempt to discover success in on-line streaming.

The corporate is pinning a few of its hopes on AT&T TV, a streaming service that’s separate from AT&T TV Now regardless of their almost equivalent names. It is delivered over the Web, however AT&T TV has the identical contract annoyances and add-on charges widespread in cable and satellite tv for pc TV packages. To this point it is solely out there in some cities in California, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Washington state and will be bought by itself or in bundles with AT&T house Web service.

AT&T TV will launch nationwide subsequent 12 months, Stephens stated yesterday, based on a transcript by Searching for Alpha. AT&T TV will probably be a “key side” of the corporate’s video technique, he stated, noting that prospects can set it up themselves with out AT&T sending a truck to their properties. AT&T additionally has excessive hopes for HBO Max, a $15-per-month service attributable to launch in Could 2020. AT&T has stated it’s aiming to get 50 million subscribers for HBO Max inside 5 years.

Regardless of all the shopper losses, Stephens stated that video remains to be an “vital phase” for the corporate. “It is vital for lots of causes,” he stated. “It is vital from the data we get from prospects, information about what they need to watch, what’s vital, what will get seen. It is vital from packaged and bundled providers, to bundle with our wi-fi, to bundle with our broadband. It is also actually vital on a standalone product foundation within the sense that it is worthwhile.”

Though TV is “a difficult enterprise,” Stephens stated that AT&T’s fiber and wi-fi broadband networks are “instruments to work with” because it tries to develop video-streaming income. “We’re nonetheless dedicated to creating this work and persevering with to do the very best we will,” Stephens stated.

AT&T has been attempting to reassure buyers about its TV prospects the previous few months, since activist investor Elliott Administration Corp. criticized AT&T’s TV technique and urged the corporate to contemplate divesting DirecTV. Elliott identified that AT&T’s 2015 buy of DirecTV got here “on the absolute peak of the linear TV market.”

In late October, AT&T reached a take care of Elliott that doesn’t contain promoting DirecTV, however AT&T promised to conduct a “disciplined evaluate” of its portfolio and stated it can make “no main acquisitions” over the subsequent three years.


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