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DirecTV Reports `Solid’ Q1

5/10/2007 11:05:00 AM Eastern

El Segundo, Calif. – DirecTV reported what company directors called “a solid” first quarter, in which revenues increased about 15 percent year-over-year to over $3.9 billion.

The satellite TV provider also showed a 44 percent jump in operating profit to $563 million and a 43 percent spike in net income to $336 million.

Gross subscriber additions reached 929,000 in the period with an average monthly churn rate of 1.44 percent, which was “still a little higher than we would like,” Chase Carey, DirecTV CEO said in conference call. But voluntary churn increased on lower quality subscribers year over year, and declined on higher quality subscribers, which fit with the company’s expectations.

He added that the revenue growth numbers were impacted by an increase in subscribers taking high-definition and DVR services.

Carey said DirecTV is on course to ramp up its HD services with the planned launches of two new satellites later this year.

DirecTV 10 is currently scheduled to launch in late June, which will enable DirecTV to offer up to 100 HD channels by the end of this year.

The company is also planning to add this summer a video-on-demand service called DirecTV-On-Demand, which is currently being beta tested.

The system is promised to offer more than 1,000 VOD titles via broadband connections and increased DVR hard drive capacity, executives said.

Carey said the satellite provider does not plan to increase fees for its expanded HD programming.

He said that direct sales of DirecTV service and equipment was up 40 percent, and has helped to generate higher quality subscribers.

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