DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) managed its second-best quarter for subscriber additions in four years, giving the satellite company some bragging rights. But that didn’t translate into a great Q2 when it comes to making money: net income dropped 11 percent to $407 million compared with Q208 and the company missed analyst estimates for earnings per share, staying flat at $0.40 when FactSet Research (via MKTW) analysts expected $0.43. (Cable competitor Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA), on the other hand, lost more than 200,000 video subs but turned in a profit growth.)
|2Q 2009||2Q 2008|
The company, which is majority owned by Liberty Media (NSDQ: LINTA), can’t count on video adds alone for future growth — or on keeping current subscribers. With that in mind, DirecTV, which had interactive and digital efforts during its News Corp (NYSE: NWS). years, is trying another batch: its own app store “like the iPhone” for TV Apps; providing NFL games on cell phones for NFL Sunday Ticket subs; and trialing a service in Manhattan for NFL broadband sales to non-DirecTV subs. On a potentially much bigger scale, AdAge reports that DirecTV is looking at its own TV Everywhere entry: an option that would give its U.S. subs broadband access to the same video they pay for on satellite. A DirecTV spokesman told AdAge the company has been in “active discussions with an array of programmers for some time now.” No concrete timeline.
— Telco contribution: The 74 percent increase in net subs came in DirecTV’s first full quarter selling a bundle with AT&T (NYSE: T), which switched satellite partners; telco combos represented roughly 25 percent of the 224,000 subs. Combining U.S., Latin America and Mexico, DirecTV now claims more than 24.2 million subscribers — 18.3 million in the U.S.
— CEO search: This was the first call since the return of CEO Chase Carey for News Corp. where he just participated in his first call as vice chairman and COO. Hunter told analysts the process if going as expected “but it will likely take a few months to complete, given the importance of the position.”
— Will pass on Epix: That interest in cross-platform programming doesn’t carry over to new multi-platform premium channel Epix. As Multichannel News notes, CFO Patrick Doyle says DirecTV doesn’t “see the value of adding another movie channel.”