DIRECTV CEO White Speaks Out!
Washington, D.C. (January 9, 2013) --
DIRECTV CEO Mike White addressed an investors conference
yesterday in Las Vegas and he opened fire on a number of
interesting and sometimes controversial topics.
For starters, White said his company added 100,000 net
subscribers in the fourth quarter and that its churn, or
cancellation, rate was better than expected.
"The U.S. business delivered 100,000 net
adds. That was significantly above where we thought we'd be,"
White said, according to Reuters.
DIRECTV added 125,000 net subscribers in
the 2011 fourth quarter and traditionally performs well in the
fourth quarter thanks to a subscription drive for the NFL Sunday
Ticket. However, the satcaster has
frequently said it is reducing
investment on such things as program acquisition which tend to
attract new subscribers and keep old ones.
The satellite service is expected to reveal more details about
its fourth quarter sub numbers when it releases its entire
quarterly financial report in the spring.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that White also told the investors
conference that an upturn in the housing market should soon
eliminate the 'cord-cutting' movement. He said improved housing
sales suggests consumers will have more money and will be able
to better manage paying for a pay TV service such as DIRECTV.
“All of the data I’ve seen on
housing says that over the next couple of years population
growth is so far exceeding it that there has to be a bump in
housing," White said.
Dow Jones Newswire reports that White told the investors
conference that a rumored merger between DIRECTV and Dish would
have 'strategic merit" and "synergies" but he cautioned no talks
"We're a long way from making
this a substantive conversation that's not just pure
speculation," White said, according to Dow Jones.
White has expressed concerns that federal regulators may not
approve a satellite merger on grounds it would be
anti-competition. The FCC nixed the deal in 2002 for the same
Finally, according to Broadcasting & Cable, White said the $3 a
month surcharge for regional sports channels will likely expand
to more markets in 2013.
"I think you will see us continue to expand that, primarily in
the 20 percent of America where you've got regional sports costs
that are out of control. I don't see it as something you do 100%
across the board. I think it's more for those metropolitan areas
where sports are, in my mind, fairly high-priced. You've got to
do something to try to recoup that cost from the consumer,"
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