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DirecTV restatement causes concern
Pondering implications of downgraded subscriber count

DirecTV's announcement earlier this month that it would cut its 2001 subscriber count by 360,000 customers has raised some eyebrows at the annual Carmel Group Satellite Conference.

GM Hughes Electronics, said that effective Jan. 1, 2002, it will characterize customers as those who actually activate the service; many people sign up, pay for equipment, but have not initiated the service, which starts the monthly billing process. Under this new criterion, DirecTV cut its customer base by 360,000, leaving it with about 10.3 million subscribers.

During a panel discussion, Steve Effros, president of Fairfax, Va.-based Effros Communications, said he thinks DirecTV's move could be "the tip of the iceberg" in the industry, meaning there may now be new questions about what constitutes a subscriber.

The dilemma segues quite easily, for some, into the issue of piracy, since it seems hard to imagine why anyone would pay for a satellite dish and never officially activate the service, unless they wanted to steal signals.
 

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RE: "The dilemma segues quite easily, for some, into the issue of piracy, since it seems hard to imagine why anyone would pay for a satellite dish and never officially activate the service, unless they wanted to steal signals."

Oh I've a friend who got a system as a christmas present and hasn't "gotten around" to putting it up yet....
 
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