By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
DirecTV Group reported lower profits but more subscribers, while rival Dish Network posted higher income, but fewer subscribers.
In financial reports filed recently, DirecTV said profit declined 46 percent in the first quarter on higher programming and promotional costs in the U.S. and Latin America.
The satellite-TV provider, which announced recently that it will soon be combined with broadcasting and programming assets of Liberty Entertainment and spun off, said it saw a profit of $201 million in the quarter, compared with $371 million in the same period a year ago.
First-quarter programming costs rose 7 percent and promotional expenses climbed 22 percent as DirecTV stepped up its marketing initiatives.
Revenue rose to $4.9 billion, from $4.6 billion in the previous year’s first quarter, the company said. Net subscriber additions were 460,000, which was 67 percent higher than in first quarter of 2008.
The company attributed the subscriber increase to “more competitive customer promotions and higher demand” for high-definition TV and digital video recorder services.
DirecTV’s total subscribers at the end of the first quarter were 18.1 million.
Meanwhile, Dish Network continued to see decline in subscriber count for the fourth consecutive quarter, including the quarter just ending March 31, but still managed a 2.1 percent increase in total revenue, to $2.91 billion, over the same period a year ago.
The satellite-TV service reported a decline of approximately 94,000 net subscribers during the quarter, giving the company approximately 13.584 million total subscribers.
Dish posted net income of $312.7 million, up from $258.6 million a year earlier and its churn rate rose to 1.83 percent, from 1.68 percent in the previous quarter.
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