DirecTV Powers Ahead in Q2

18 July 2003

Could it be that the ‘Murdoch effect’ has already kicked-in at DirecTV, America’s largest satellite broadcaster? Or perhaps it’s just that prolonged negotiations with various suitors have honed its all-round business efficiency.


DirecTV, a unit of Hughes Electronics and currently in suspended animation while the FCC mulls whether to approve its takeover by News Corporation, posted a second quarter profit of $21.6 million (€19.32m; £13.61m) – a number that compares rather well with the $177.9m loss in the same period last year. Revenue rose 8.1% to $2.37 billion from $2.19 billion.

It is on the customer front that DirecTV really scored, ending the quarter with 11.6m subscribers, up year-on-year by 7.5%. It also lost fewer subscribers to other pay-TV broadcasters. All this despite a 3% price hike in March.

Opines analyst William Jacobs of Chicago’s Harris Associates: “The numbers look pretty good. The rate of customer ‘churn’ is the best number that I saw. ... I was concerned about possible losses to EchoStar.”

Data sourced from: Bloomberg News (USA); additional content by WARC staff