DirecTV picks up 100,000 subscribers in Q4 2012

Growth slows year-over-year but exceeds expectations
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DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) gained 100,000 net subscriber additions in the fourth quarter, CEO Mike White said at a Citi conference last week.

White said DirecTV's subscriber growth was "significantly above where we thought we would be." He noted the company expected it would lose more subscribers after Chinese language programming supplier Jadeworld moved its networks from DirecTV to rival Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) in November.

But DirecTV's fourth-quarter subscriber growth did slow compared to previous years. The top satellite TV provider picked up 125,000 net new subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 289,000 new subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2010.

White said DirecTV is stepping up efforts to reduce subscriber churn and improve profit margins by raising the prices on its subscription video packages and reducing operating expenses. DirecTV announced recently that it would hike subscription fees by an average of 4.5 percent. The company has also started charging subscribers in markets such as Los Angeles that feature more than one regional sports network monthly surcharges of $3.

White said DirecTV will release its fourth-quarter earnings report in February.

For more:
- listen to webcast of White's presentation
- Reuters has this story

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DirecTV hiking subscription fees by 4.5 percent
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