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Wow - DirecTV loses 346,000 DirectTV/U-verse subs in 3Q18

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by wilbur_the_goose, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    Wonder if this is the beginning of the end for the satellite service. That's a pretty large number of subs.

    In our case, the only real reason we keep DirecTV is for sports (NFL Sunday Ticket).
     
  2. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I wish they broke out the difference between Directv & Uverse, but note what the AT&T said about that - they are focusing on profitability. So probably they are pulling back on giving people big discounts to sign up or to keep them.

    The deal chasers are going to find better deals in the streaming world right now, so they probably wouldn't last beyond the end of their contract anyway.
     
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  3. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    DIRECTV satellite lost roughly a million subscribers over the past year.
    DIRECTV NOW gained roughly a million. UVerse lost just under 30k over the past year.
    Overall AT&T|DIRECTV gained 70k subscribers.

    It isn't the end of the world ... but if they keep losing a million subscribers per year they won't have satellite subscribers in 20 years. :)

    (For just the quarter DIRECTV lost 359k with UVerse gaining 13K. DIRECTV NOW gained 49K.)
     
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  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    And keep in mind that AT&T hasn't *really* started yet to shift their customer base over from DBS to OTT. DirecTV Now is still a bit rough and they're continuing to work out the kinks with price-sensitive cord-cutters playing the role of live beta testers. Meanwhile, they're doing internal alpha testing right now of the premium OTT service that will be slotted as a replacement for DBS, with plans to gradually roll it out to consumers in 2019. (I suspect it will only debut in a given market once all the major locals are signed up.)

    DTV DBS might last another 20 years if it loses subs at its current rate but the losses will accelerate in the coming years for a variety of reasons. As I've said before, I'll be surprised if DBS (from any company) exists in the US a decade from now. I'm still sticking with my 2025-2028 time frame for the end.
     
  5. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    DIRECTV NOW is a good safety net for AT&T|DIRECTV catching people leaving DIRECTV satellite. If the new "satellite replacement" is as good as some predict it could be another good choice.

    BTW: 2Q numbers were DIRECTV lost 286k, UVerse gained 24k and DIRECTV NOW gained 342K.
     
  6. BigCTM

    BigCTM Cool Member

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    Part of the issue is that DirecTV no longer exists. It's basically AT&T. I knew back when it happened that DirecTV would never be the same and we are seeing it this year more than ever. They roll out a new interface for their DVRs full of bugs and they are in no hurry to fix them it seems. Some of the bugs have existed for more than 6 months. So, naturally people start leaving. I have a huge discount right now. Otherwise I would have left already. I have been with them forever too it seems.

    The other issue is that none of the competition seems that much better. I am not interested in streaming until it's basically forced down my throat. No way am I ever going to Comcast. AT&T and Comcast both have awful service but Comcast is the worst. My parents have the X1 and they hate it. Many are going to cloud based DVRs but I still prefer the local ones. Would probably try Dish but I honestly hope the issues (like missing recordings) get worked out.
     
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  7. dtv757

    dtv757 Icon

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  8. tylorert

    tylorert Member

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    How did U-Verse gain coustomers?!?!?! The service is worse than if Peter griffan and Homer Simpson built a TV / internet service
     
  9. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Directv loses money on Directv Now. Supposedly the average streaming MVPD package costs $54 for programming, but most streaming MVPDs sell for less. They're using the standard internet model of "lose money now and build up a subscriber base, worry about profit later".

    Cord cutting will eventually slow down once the price differential disappears after the options inevitably shake out as the weak hands call it quits. I very much doubt PS Vue lasts more than a few years, for instance.
     
  10. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    AT&T is still expanding their fiber network, so they might be Uverse adds on fiber.
     
  11. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    Comcast report this morning.

    The company added 363,000 internet customers in the period, up 70% from a year earlier, but lost 106,000 cable subscribers.
     
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  12. VaJim

    VaJim Godfather

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    ...and there other ways to watch NFL that don't cost anywhere near what DTV charges.
     
  13. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

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    I called last month. Politely stated I might cancel, after 20 years. I essentially got a new customer deal for next 12 mos, with 12 mos commitment. Best deal ever. They are trying to keep people. If its costs, get to Loyalty dept and you may be surprised.
     
  14. VaJim

    VaJim Godfather

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    DTV needs to get rid of the 2 year commitment and I 'might' consider coming back.
     
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  15. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I would think that both Dish and Directv could do that in a way similar to what Mediacom does. They basically have two types of deals, one with commitment the other without. Cost is higher with the no commitment one and I think the annual 'bump' is higher too.

    For info, the "bump" is $10/month/service and is done at the beginning of the 2nd and 3rd year.
     
  16. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, "stealing" is of course always cheaper than paying for something.
     
  17. sstv

    sstv Legend

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    Watching TV is a long stream of Ads with a little bit of programing. Profit from advertising is at a all time high, so more Ads. I watch CNN and HLN a lot and I noticed that when I switched channels to go to CNN/HLN an Ad would almost always be playing or so it seems. Program content has decreased according to Google so more Ads can be run.
    I think people are fed up with this and are going the Streaming route to avoid Ads.
    SSTV
     
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  18. Phil T

    Phil T Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Not surprised to see the loss if you have experienced the decline of customer service since the AT&T acquisition.

    I went back to cable (Comcast) after having satellite for 21 years. It is my only choice for reliable internet. Added TiVO and am still saving money over DirecTV. Comcast customer service is much better if you deal one on one with a local service center. I can walk to mine.
     
  19. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Well, per yesterday's call, AT&T is already addressing that issue with DTVN. Gone are the big promo deals (glad I got that free Apple TV 4K while it was offered!), and they've raised prices by $5 across the board. They're not interested in chasing after the super-price-sensitive demo that churns through various vMVPDs, they say. Their targeted ad platform will be more lucrative with a stable, sticky customer base.

    Meanwhile, they're talking about revisiting channel line-ups. I tend to think we'll see some channels here and there shed from DTVN next year -- possibly even a total shake-up of their packages, with the most expensive tier disappearing -- once their new premium streaming service debuts. Makes sense to me to have DTVN positioned as their budget offering -- fewer channels, fewer features, BYO box -- with the upcoming premium service being essentially their flagship OTT option that customers can comfortably move into from DTV satellite and Uverse TV.

    I don't think of these vMVPDs as "cord cutting," they're just a less expensive way to get cable TV, albeit with certain compromises. I think you're right that not all of them will survive (another one, Vidgo, is launching imminently) but there will continue to be enough of them with different channel packages and feature sets at different price points that they will continue to grow, stealing customers away from more expensive traditional "full service" cable and satellite TV. Eventually the lines are going to blur between what constitutes an MVPD and a vMVPD -- the upcoming "premium" OTT DirecTV service being a prime example -- with everyone trying to cater to a range of budgets.

    Meanwhile, as a substantial chunk of cable subscribers transition to skinnier bundles, we'll see more linear cable channels die off in the coming years. Cable network groups like Viacom are already hedging their bets as they not only operate their linear channels like MTV and Paramount Network but also seek to become content providers to OTT platforms like Netflix and Facebook Watch.
     
  20. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    If you think streaming is going to be free of ads for much longer then you're in for a rude awakening. It is easy to prevent people from skipping ads when streaming, but DVRs guarantee that you never need to see an ad while watching cable/satellite.

    So it is easy to see why the networks want to be leaving streaming mostly free of ads for now until they can get people switched. Then they've got captive eyeballs who will be left without any way to avoid watching the ads.

    When I watch news I'll typically just pause it, then watch a half hour program I've recorded, then watch the news (or you could record it, but I don't record news since I don't know when/what I will want to watch - and it goes stale QUICK) Using Tivo's quickplay (sped up 30%) and skipping ads, a half hour of news takes 10-15 minutes to watch. If I watch it on 1xFF with captions enabled, I can get through it 4-5 minutes. Try that with streaming...
     
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