AT&T’s video customer losses
In the first quarter, AT&T (T) lost net 544,000 traditional US pay-TV customers compared to 187,000 net losses in the first quarter of 2018. AT&T also lost net 83,000 DIRECTV NOW customers in the first quarter compared to 312,000 net customer additions in the first quarter of 2018.
According to a FierceVideo report on May 14, “The company’s total 627,000 video subscriber losses accounted for approximately half of 1.28 million subscribers lost by the U.S. pay TV industry in the first quarter.”
AT&T at the conference
During the JPMorgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference held last week, Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chair and CEO, spoke about the company’s video business. Stephenson stated that AT&T is cleaning up its video subscriber base, mainly its unprofitable customers, and it doesn’t expect its spiked churn to subside this year.
In addition, the company’s management believes that it could achieve EBITDA stability in its video business this year and into 2020. According to the FierceVideo report, “DirecTV’s ‘thin client,’ a streaming version of DirecTV that’s debuting later this year, will be the workhorse for DirecTV, and will bring price levels down for customers that are struggling.”