DirecTV Posts Huge Loss After Dumping Internet-via-Satellite

04 November 2004

Top US satellite television operator DirecTV has reported a net loss of $1.01 billion (€789.8m; £547.5m) in the third quarter.

The California-based company, controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation says the loss was incurred after deciding to abandon plans to use its satellites for internet services and instead concentrate on high-definition video-broadcasting capacity.

The change of direction took place at NewsCorp's behest after it acquired the company last year, as has the ramping up of marketing and promotions activity to push its rivals out of the picture.

DirecTV's revenues rose during the quarter by 20% to $2.86bn The drive to hike subscriber numbers has resulted in a 484,000 net increase (allowing for churn) bringing the total number to 13.5 million.

But churn increased by 1.67% during the third quarter due to customer credit problems and increased competition. NewsCorp, however, insists it is confident losses will decline before the end of the year.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff