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DirecTV Uptake Accelerates in 4Q

DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) posted net income of $332 million on revenues of $5.3 billion for the last quarter of 2008. The satellite TV provider posted full-year income of $1.52 billion on revenues of nearly $19.7 billion. Revenues for both periods were up from the previous year 9 and 14 percent, respectively. Net income grew year-over-year by 5 percent, but fell by nearly 5 percent for the quarter.

The company said it added and retained 301,000 subscribers in 4Q, the biggest quarterly net sub growth it has recorded. For the year, DirecTV said it posted a gross addition of 3.9 million subscribers, the most in three years, at a 1.47 percent monthly churn rate, its lowest in nine years. After churn, DirecTV retained 861,000 new subscribers for the year, bringing its total to 17.6 million.

The additional services boosted DirecTV's average revenue per unit (how much it makes per subscriber for the period) for the quarter from $87.40 to $90.46, and from $79.05 in 2007 to $83.90 for the full 2008 year.