AT&T LOST 390,000 SATELLITE TV, CABLE CUSTOMERS IN 3Q
YORK» AT&T said it lost NEW 90,000 video subscribers in the U.S. in the third quarter. It’s a steeper drop than the same period last year, even though gains from its newer, cheaper online cablelike service, DirecTV Now, are included. DirecTV Now wasn’t available in the July-September quarter in 2016.
DirecTV Now added 300,000 subscribers in the quarter, so AT&T lost about 390,000 satellite TV and cable customers.
AT&T, which is also the No. 2 wireless carrier in the U.S., blames tough competition from traditional TV providers like Comcast and newer digital-video services like YouTube TV. It also blames the impact from hurricanes and stricter credit standards for customers.
AT&T’s prediction echoed Comcast’s forecast in early September of third-quarter losses of 100,000 to 150,000 video customers due. That would be Comcast’s largest quarterly loss since 2014. Comcast also blamed competition and weather.
UBS analyst John Hodulik said in a Thursday note that “cord cutting continues to gain steam as streaming TV builds momentum.”