DirecTV Adds Subscribers, Ups Surcharges

DirecTV plans to extend its surcharge for regional sports networks (RSNs) to all customers living in about 20% of the country. The satellite operator has been charging $3 a month to only new subscribers living in areas where more than one RSN is available. The plan goes into effect this spring.
 
DirecTV CEO Mike White has been a vocal opponent of the costs of carrying RSNs, saying on Thursday they’ve gotten so high the satellite operator’s “only alternative” is to pass some of the charges along to customers in certain markets.
 
Verizon FiOS is following suit with an RSN surcharge.
 
Separately, White said DirecTV is intrigued by the 4K technology that allows content to be offered in four times the resolution of HD, although it will take a while before a critical mass has the 4K sets.
 
“It’s a very exciting technology, and frankly, we’re very interested in how fast it’ll expand with consumers and certainly take that into consideration in our longer-term product plans,” White said on an earnings call.
 
DirecTV added 103,000 net subscribers in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2012, pushing it above the 20 million-subscriber mark. The subscriber addition figure was down from 125,000 in the same period the year before.
 
U.S. revenues in the October-December period of 2012 climbed 5% to $6.3 billion, versus the same period in the year before.
 
Overall company revenues increased 8% to $8.05 billion, while profit jumped 31% to $942 million.

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