DirecTV Partly Credits HD for Subscriber Growth

In a conference call, DirecTV credited its HD services as at least partly responsible for its customer increase, as well as a modest 1.6 percent climb in net income for the quarter.
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While its lone DBS competitor, Dish Network, reported a slight drop-off in subscriber numbers in the last quarter, DirecTV reported last week that it added nearly 130,000 new subs in the second quarter of 2008—a slight improvement over its growth during the same period a year ago (128,000).

The satellite firm said it currently has 17.2 million subscribers.

In a conference call, DirecTV credited its HD services as at least partly responsible for its customer increase, as well as a modest 1.6 percent climb in net income for the quarter.

Both DirecTV and Dish have heavily promoted their respective HD services against the cable competition (mostly in the form of providing more HD channels available, and the promise of 1080p VOD), although some analysts have said among both DBS companies, DirecTV has marketed HD more effectively, at least for now.

There have been merger rumors surrounding both firms lately, although Liberty Media Chairman John Malone said on Aug. 11 that a merger between his DirecTV property and Dish would likely face serious regulatory hurdles, despite the recent success of the Sirius-XM satellite radio deal.