AT&T Sheds 382,000 Q1 U-verse Video Subs26 Apr, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Telecom bows Fullscreen SVOD service
AT&T April 26 said it lost 382,000 U-verse video subscribers in the first quarter, ended March 31. The telecom, which added 328,000 satellite subs to its DirecTV subsidiary, added 49,000 U-verse subs in the previous-year period. It finished the period with 5.2 million U-verse subs. Overall, AT&T ended the period with 25.3 million video subs, which was down 54,000 from last year. It added 186,000 broadband subs to finish the period with 12.5 million.
The telecom formally launched its Fullscreen $4.99 subscription streaming service featuring exclusive content and playable on smartphones, Google Chromecast, iPod Touch, iPad, laptops and desktops. With social media a major component of the service, users are encouraged generate video clips of certain portions of the content — which AT&T reserves the right to use for promotional purposes.
The company expects to grow video subs through the end of the year, driven in part by NFL football packages. It is not including Fullscreen subs as part of that growth.
On the fiscal call, CEO Randall Stephenson said the decline in U-verse subs was not due to any cannibalization by DirecTV, but rather a move by management to focus sales on the lower-cost satellite service.
“We can get content synergy savings by adding customers [to satellite], so it’s not so much a concerted effort to switch [from U-verse], it’s more about getting new [video] customers on DirecTV. But we’re still pleased to support both platforms,” Stephenson said.