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EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Jan 8 (Reuters) - Satellite television provider DirecTV said on Tuesday its subscriber base rose 13 percent in 2001 to 10.7 million customers, with a net 405,000 additions during the fourth quarter.

The provider, a unit of Hughes Electronics, said it added about 1.34 million subscribers last year, bringing its total number of customers to 10.7 million compared with 9.5 million at the end of 2000.

''Our fourth quarter and year-end results make it abundantly clear that DirecTV is highly focused on its business, and demand for our product remains very strong despite a soft economy and heightened competition,'' Roxanne Austin, DirecTV president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Hughes Electronics is planning to combine with rival satellite television company EchoStar Communications Corp. if it can win the necessary regulatory approvals. The company plans to issue its full 2001 results on Jan. 15.
 
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