“[F]or the third quarter of 2019, AT&T’s pay-TV business continued to be in free-fall, crimping revenue and hurting the bottom line,” reports Variety.
The story says, “AT&T dropped a net 1.16 million premium TV video subscribers, including at DirecTV, while its over-the-top AT&T TV Now service dropped 195,000 net customers, for a total net loss of 1.36 million video subs. The company attributed about 225,000 of those losses to programming blackouts. As of the end of the period, AT&T had 21.6 million total video customers, which included 1.1 million AT&T TV Now subscribers — down 3.6 million from 25.2 million a year earlier.
“[AT&T CEO Randall] Stephenson suggested the rate of AT&T’s pay-TV losses peaked in Q3, noting that the third quarter is historically weak for the pay-TV business on [a] call with investors. He promised significant improvement in the pay-TV numbers for Q4 with subscriber trends getting better moving into next year. The DirecTV satellite business continues to provide strong free cash flow but Stephenson said the recently debuted internet-delivered AT&T TV service will become the standardized, primary go-to-market television offering and HBO Max will ‘become the workhorse’ for the video business.
“In the video business, ‘we ultimately get down to two products,’ Stephenson said: satellite TV and a streaming service premised on HBO Max platform that will expand beyond subscription VOD to eventually incorporate live programming. Stephenson officially announced that AT&T is forecasting 50 million HBO Max subscribers in the U.S. by 2025.”