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DIRECTV Announces Q4-2011 and Full Year 2011 Results - Conf Call Today


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#41 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:59 PM

More HD is coming and it's not on 119


It wouldn't be a such secret as soon the channels will appear as test channels in system tables. :grin:

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#42 OFFLINE   YakeVlad

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:14 PM

Here goes my shot at tackling the 800lbs gorilla in the thread...

There's justifiable frustration and anger being voiced by some regarding D*'s latest earnings with others voicing good points on the other side of the debate. Yes, D* is a publicly traded corporation, and yes the board has to provide continued shareholder value to keep their jobs. Yes, D* has a right to seek profits. But, there's is a line of reason to be recognized as well. Announcing record profits and earnings per share on the tail of rate increases to subscribers is a slap in the face to many people. It shows that not only did you cover the increase in programming costs, but that you managed to make even more money than before despite them. And when the justification for those same rate increases was "increased costs of programming" it becomes clear that the decision had little to do with maintaining the health of the company but more to do with passing the burden down to the customer while making the shareholders even more money. Now pile on top of that the fact that we're still mired in the worst economic state since the Great Depression. It paints a very unflattering picture of D* being an uncaring, profiteering company out of touch with its customers and which only cares about how rich it can make its shareholders.

From the other side of the fence D* did an excellent job of increasing profits through a higher rate of monies generated from premium services like movie packages, pay-per-view, sports packages, etc. Clearly rate increases were not the only source of success. Congratulations is in order to D* for that as well as managing to defy the industry-wide pattern of subscriber losses. They absolutely deserve to reap the rewards of those achievements.

A much higher percentage of the subscriber population is hurting financially right now and has been for the last few years. Every increase in costs adds to that pain, especially when it comes from a company which is experiencing a growing wealth of fortunes despite a tough economic climate. This isn't a case of the company making an adjustment to maintain the financial status quo. It's easy, and to a degree justifiable, for someone in a tough spot to see this as another example of corporate greed and excess. Yes, we all have the choice to drop to a lower level package, but D* also had the choice to take the high road by absorbing some costs instead of increasing rates and recognizing the hardships being borne by its customers. Yes, other providers are increasing their rates or charge more for their services than D*, but at the same time those companies are losing money or are seeing lower profits, unlike is the case with D*. Just because the other kids on the block are doing something doesn't mean you have to as well. In the words that I'm sure we've all heard from our parents at one point in our lives, "so if your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?"

These aren't normal economic times, yet D* continues to act like they are. Isn't it time for a little common sense and some compassion towards your "valued customers"? I just wonder how many more customers, and greater profits, D* might have gained from NOT raising rates and running a marketing campaign promoting how they were better than their competition by bucking the trend. I remember the days when one of D*'s biggest selling points was how they were different from cable and didn't raise rates every year. What happened to THAT DirecTV?

Edited by YakeVlad, 21 February 2012 - 02:36 PM.


#43 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:04 PM

There's justifiable frustration and anger being voiced by some regarding D*'s latest earnings


No there is not. DirecTV is in the business of making money by selling a product and service. They are doing exactly what they should be doing. If consumers are unhappy with that, they have other options. Of course, the other options on the table operate by the same basic and fully reasonable principals. If you don't like they way they operate or how much charge versus how much they make...terminate your service and move on.

...which only cares about how rich it can make its shareholders.


Maximizing value and profits for its shareholders is, at the end of the day, the point. That is who the CEO works for. DirecTV isn't a non-profit working for the betterment of the world. They sell a service that is in demand for the purpose of profiting from it. The one and only reason why a television provider should maintain or lower rates is if it has trouble retaining and attracting customers. Otherwise, it is their responsibility to maximize profits and opportunities on behalf of the shareholders.

I cannot believe how often this must be explained to folks.

#44 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:51 PM

I don't like such military style to review business practice, Mr Hoosier. Please keep it for your subordinates.

Vlad's analytic is much more reasonable.

#45 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:57 PM

I don't like such military style to review business practice, Mr Hoosier. Please keep it for your subordinates.

Vlad's analytic is much more reasonable.


...what? Some issues come down to differing opinions. This is not one of those issues. This is how business and our economy work.
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#46 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:06 PM

The satellite tv business is doomed! doomed! the analysts say.

I've heard/read this from other business analysts, that Directv/Dish ultimately will lose the battle against the triple-play of cable/fiber and that within the next 3-5 years they'll be failing businesses. I don't necessarily agree with it, but at some point the internet will become just as important a delivery mechanism for entertainment as traditional cable/satellite.
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#47 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:51 PM

Welcome to America in 2012.

Most every organization that I interact with is run the same way these days.

Quarterly profits are a key priority, most would like to keep their jobs, and there's always a key focus on any opportunity to increase revenues and/or decrease costs, while also providing high customer satisfaction.

There's also survival of the fittest, so there's also a balancing act as to what the market will bear, and keeping a very key focus on your market and the competition within your market.

Simple as that.

Same everywhere, whether it's the TV business or any other industry.
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#48 OFFLINE   mashandhogan

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:18 PM

I think I need to get some DTV stock:lol:
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#49 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:18 AM

I've heard/read this from other business analysts, that Directv/Dish ultimately will lose the battle against the triple-play of cable/fiber and that within the next 3-5 years they'll be failing businesses. I don't necessarily agree with it, but at some point the internet will become just as important a delivery mechanism for entertainment as traditional cable/satellite.

DIRECTV stands to sustain the most damage from this theory but to date they seem to have escaped largely unscathed. If you're a trader, no big deal, but if your a buy-and-hold type, I'd still be wary.

The alliances DISH had should protect them pretty well for a while. See more at Wild Blue's "exede" Internet.

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#50 OFFLINE   YakeVlad

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:50 PM

No there is not. DirecTV is in the business of making money by selling a product and service. They are doing exactly what they should be doing. If consumers are unhappy with that, they have other options. Of course, the other options on the table operate by the same basic and fully reasonable principals. If you don't like they way they operate or how much charge versus how much they make...terminate your service and move on.


So...we as customers should just take it up the arse and tell them thank you can I have more please? I'm well aware that DirecTV is a business and has the right to seek profits. In fact I said as much in my initial post. But raking customers for every penny you can squeeze out of them is not the only way to accomplish that goal. Customer retention, customer additions, new services, reducing costs to improve margins on the products and services you offer, streamlining processes to make them more efficient and thus less costly, up-selling customers on premium services, effective marketing campaigns, there are dozens of ways to improve shareholder value in a company without raising the rates on the base product or service being offered. DirecTV was as stated in their report quite successful in a number of these areas.

Relying too heavily on data from statistics and charts on where the threshold between price charged and number of customers to reach maximum profitability as the determining factor for how you operate your business is cold and lazy. Which is the tone I get from your comments. It's the "let's do it because the computer says we should mentality" with hazardous disregard for whether it's the best solution or the other impacts it will have. It's also the mentality that has led to the demise of many a once successful business.

I'm saddened by how accurately your comments represent the thinking of too many businesses today. The mantra in business used to be that the customer was right and that there was as much value placed on keeping customers and doing the "right" thing. Today the mantra seems to be more how much can we bleed every customer for, pass down any cost increases to our customers, the shareholders are right and screw the customers, if they don't like it they can go somewhere else and we'll just replace them with another customer.

Maximizing value and profits for its shareholders is, at the end of the day, the point. That is who the CEO works for. DirecTV isn't a non-profit working for the betterment of the world. They sell a service that is in demand for the purpose of profiting from it. The one and only reason why a television provider should maintain or lower rates is if it has trouble retaining and attracting customers. Otherwise, it is their responsibility to maximize profits and opportunities on behalf of the shareholders.

I cannot believe how often this must be explained to folks.


I'm keenly aware of who are the bosses of the chairmen and executives at publicly owned companies. I also know that DirecTV is not running a charity. But, I strongly disagree with your interpretation of the responsibility to maximize profits and opportunities for the shareholders. The responsibility is to properly manage the balance between maintaining and increasing shareholder "value" and the long-term health and viability of the corporation. The mentality that if I make my shareholders $1 today I have to make them $2 tomorrow is reckless and unsustainable. Many a board has fallen victim to the shortsightedness of your interpretation and led their businesses down the path to ruin because they focused too much on maximizing profits in the short-term without enough regard for how those decisions will impact the business in a wider scope. Decisions which may benefit the shareholders this quarter or even over the next couple of quarters can have disasterous consequences for the business as soon as a year later and expand far beyond the financials. CEO's and other executives at corporations have been fired despite delivering good results for the shareholders because they failed to properly manage the operation of the business. While the shareholders may be their bosses, customers make the business viable.

DirecTV used to be focused on providing its customers the greatest value for the services offered compared to its competitors and successfully marketed it like no tomorrow. It offered as many channels as other providers for significantly less cost. It's that value which led DirecTV from being a small niche provider to having in excess of 10 million subscribers. Somewhere along the path of its sales from Hughes to News Corp to Liberty Media, DirecTV lost sight of their roots. Let's look at the television provider market over the past year. All of the other providers are increasing rates and bleeding customers. Meanwhile DirecTV is defying the trend of customer losses and actually growing it's subscriber base. DirecTV could build upon that momentum by not increasing rates, creating a gap in cost for its services compared to the competition, and attracting even more customers while reducing subscriber churn. DirecTV as proven by the 4th quarter financials is making a very healthy profit and continues to contribute to its increase by higher average per subscriber purchases. So, it could be argued that DirecTV could profit more from keeping rates at 2011 levels, allowing accelerated customer gains to offset the increased costs absorbed, and focusing its attention to continuing to increase average per subscriber purchases. That would raise profits AND the health of the corporation resulting in increased shareholder value from both. More to the point, your comment about all the other providers increasing their rates, why should a successful DirecTV engage in the same practices as their unsuccessful competitors? If you want to be successful you follow the practices of other successful people or businesses, not the ones which are failing.

I'll end on this thought...Corporations don't always base their decisions on cold numbers and profits. Look at how many provide their products free of charge in cases of disaster. Others have rolled back prices or absorbed cost increases during this "Great Recession" due to financial hardships already being born by their customers. These gestures come at the expense of the businesses profits in the short-term, but the positive image the business receives from it, the increased customer loyalty it creates, and the marketing buzz that it generates can lead to more customers and greater profits in the end.

Edited by YakeVlad, 23 February 2012 - 02:25 PM.


#51 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:33 PM

So...we as customers should just take it up the arse and tell them thank you can I have more please? I'm well aware that DirecTV is a business and has the right to seek profits. In fact I said as much in my initial post. But raking customers for every penny you can squeeze out of them is not the only way to accomplish that goal. Customer retention, customer additions, new services, reducing costs to improve margins on the products and services you offer, streamlining processes to make them more efficient and thus less costly, up-selling customers on premium services, effective marketing campaigns, there are dozens of ways to improve shareholder value in a company without raising the rates on the base product or service being offered. DirecTV was as stated in their report quite successful in a number of these areas.

Relying too heavily on data from statistics and charts on where the threshold between price charged and number of customers to reach maximum profitability as the determining factor for how you operate your business is cold and lazy. Which is the tone I get from your comments. It's the "let's do it because the computer says we should mentality" with hazardous disregard for whether it's the best solution or the other impacts it will have. It's also the mentality that has led to the demise of many a once successful business.

I'm saddened by how accurately your comments represent the thinking of too many businesses today. The mantra in business used to be that the customer was right and that there was as much value placed on keeping customers and doing the "right" thing. Today the mantra seems to be more how much can we bleed every customer for, pass down any cost increases to our customers, the shareholders are right and screw the customers, if they don't like it they can go somewhere else and we'll just replace them with another customer.

I'm keenly aware of who are the bosses of the chairmen and executives at publicly owned companies. I also know that DirecTV is not running a charity. But, I strongly disagree with your interpretation of the responsibility to maximize profits and opportunities for the shareholders. The responsibility is to properly manage the balance between maintaining and increasing shareholder "value" and the long-term health and viability of the corporation. The mentality that if I make my shareholders $1 today I have to make them $2 tomorrow is reckless and unsustainable. Many a board has fallen victim to the shortsightedness of your interpretation and led their businesses down the path to ruin because they focused too much on maximizing profits in the short-term without enough regard for how those decisions will impact the business in a wider scope. Decisions which may benefit the shareholders this quarter or even over the next couple of quarters can have disasterous consequences for the business as soon as a year later and expand far beyond the financials. CEO's and other executives at corporations have been fired despite delivering good results for the shareholders because they failed to properly manage the operation of the business. While the shareholders may be their bosses, customers make the business viable.

DirecTV used to be focused on providing its customers the greatest value for the services offered compared to its competitors and successfully marketed it like no tomorrow. It offered as many channels as other providers for significantly less cost. It's that value which led DirecTV from being a small niche provider to having in excess of 10 million subscribers. Somewhere along the path of its sales from Hughes to News Corp to Liberty Media, DirecTV lost sight of their roots. Let's look at the television provider market over the past year. All of the other providers are increasing rates and bleeding customers. Meanwhile DirecTV is defying the trend of customer losses and actually growing it's subscriber base. DirecTV could build upon that momentum by not increasing rates, creating a gap in cost for its services compared to the competition, and attracting even more customers while reducing subscriber churn. DirecTV as proven by the 4th quarter financials is making a very healthy profit and continues to contribute to its increase by higher average per subscriber purchases. So, it could be argued that DirecTV could profit more from keeping rates at 2011 levels, allowing accelerated customer gains to offset the increased costs absorbed, and focusing its attention to continuing to increase average per subscriber purchases. That would raise profits AND the health of the corporation resulting in increased shareholder value from both. More to the point, your comment about all the other providers increasing their rates, why should a successful DirecTV engage in the same practices as their unsuccessful competitors? If you want to be successful you follow the practices of other successful people or businesses, not the ones which are failing.

I'll end on this thought...Corporations don't always base their decisions on cold numbers and profits. Look at how many provide their products free of charge in cases of disaster. Others have rolled back prices or absorbed cost increases during this "Great Recession" due to financial hardships already being born by their customers. These gestures come at the expense of the businesses profits in the short-term, but the positive image the business receives from it, the increased customer loyalty it creates, and the marketing buzz that it generates can lead to more customers and greater profits in the end.


I don't see the point of your post. I told you how it is. You're going on about how you wish it was. Fantasy vs reality. It's pointless. Humor yourself if you wish and tell an incredibly successful company that happen to be running their business properly...that they are doing it all wrong. Have fun with those delusions. Here they are dealing with ever increasing retrans costs, among other variables, and you're telling them to do nothing. It's just so silly and ludicrous.

None of this matters though. They know what they are doing. You...obviously...do not.
DTV = Digital Television

#52 OFFLINE   YakeVlad

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:09 AM

I don't see the point of your post. I told you how it is. You're going on about how you wish it was. Fantasy vs reality. It's pointless. Humor yourself if you wish and tell an incredibly successful company that happen to be running their business properly...that they are doing it all wrong. Have fun with those delusions. Here they are dealing with ever increasing retrans costs, among other variables, and you're telling them to do nothing. It's just so silly and ludicrous.

None of this matters though. They know what they are doing. You...obviously...do not.


lol...you make it sound like I'm out on at crusade. If we go back to my initial post I discussed both sides of the debate here in the thread. My posts after that were focused on addressing the responses which came after and solely focused one side, so my responses we addressed as such. I know the reality of today's corporate business world and that it won't change unless something more profitable is devised. However, the attitude that because something doesn't represent how things are done today makes it pure fantasy and delusional is hilarious. Devising new approaches to business is how new business models come about, how innovation in business takes place, and how established businesses adapt to avoid going the way of the Dodo. If what you expressed was our reality there wouldn't be smartphones or computers or innovative companies like Amazon, we'd all still be living in caves. We have flourished on the backs of people whom you would describe as wishers of fantasy and delusional because they had the foresight and skill to invent new products and evolve the way business was done.

I'm glad that DirecTV continues to be successful and provides us with such a quality product/service. I wouldn't have been a customer of theirs for over 10 years and continue to be if I was unsatisfied. I'm glad to hear that they are continuing to grow in a market in which most other companies are contracting. They're obviously doing things right. Maybe there's even more successful strategies they could...Oops there I go again drifting into my delusions...rofl :lol:

#53 OFFLINE   Upstream

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:17 AM

YakeVlad -- I understand your frustration, but I think it is somewhat misplaced. Certainly DirecTV is in business to make money, but they do that by selling services at a fair value to customers. If customers do not think the price is fair, or if they think the service is subpar, or technology is not improving properly, or that support is lacking, etc., then customers can take their business elsewhere. If enough customers do that, then DirecTV will have failed at their objective to make money.

Right now, DirecTV's subscriber base is growing. But that does not mean they are keeping all existing customers and adding new ones. It just means they are adding new customers faster than they lose existing customers.

Over 18% (almost one out of every five) DirecTV subscribers cancel their service every year. That works out to an average of almost 9940 cancellations every single day.

If you do not believe that DirecTV charges you a fair price for the services they provide, you could add your name to the list of cancellations. You have lots of options: Dish, cable, antenna, internet, Netflix, don't watch TV, etc.

#54 OFFLINE   YakeVlad

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:24 PM

It's all good. I started off analyzing both sides of the debate with no vested interest on either side and wound up just discussing one side as the conversation pushed things in that direction. I'm quite happy with my DirecTV service and have no interest in looking elsewhere.

My apologies to Sixto for straying a bit off topic.

#55 OFFLINE   georule

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 05:29 PM

D* seems to be doing pretty well to me. Look at most of the cable companies, and you find those that appear to be doing well are really living off their increase in internet and phone, not video.

D* has to be more nimble than them, because D*'s offerings are more limited. Latin America is certainly helping D* a lot, of course. That's really not bad for us tho (at least so far), as the economies of scale in various administrative and tech areas still benefit US customers.

There are 4 more HD channels I'd really like to have. Otoh, when I came to D* three years ago, it was because there were about 30 more HD channels I could get from D* than I had already. :D At that time I didn't even realize how much more I'd love the DVR versus cable fare. I'll live (and still plug away at encouraging D* to add my channels).
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#56 OFFLINE   eyefrickinLovehousemusic

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 08:44 AM

Well, it's nice to see Directv made so much profit while they rob and steal from their technicians and make them work for below minimum wage a lot of the time! This is why people turn to unions!

#57 OFFLINE   Scott Kocourek

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 08:56 AM

Well, it's nice to see Directv made so much profit while they rob and steal from their technicians and make them work for below minimum wage a lot of the time! This is why people turn to unions!


Yes, I'm quite sure technicians pay would be much higher had they shown a loss. :rolleyes:

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#58 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 10:01 AM

Well, it's nice to see Directv made so much profit while they rob and steal from their technicians and make them work for below minimum wage a lot of the time! This is why people turn to unions!


We live in a free economy. No one "makes" you work for wages less than you can get elsewhere.....
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#59 ONLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:00 PM

Well, it's nice to see Directv made so much profit while they rob and steal from their technicians and make them work for below minimum wage a lot of the time! This is why people turn to unions!


I'd love to see proof of them forcing you to work for less than minimum wage. Talk about a major lawsuit.




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