DirecTV will continue to try to hold the line on consumer programming prices.
Speaking at the Deutsch media
conference, Patrick Doyle, executive vice president and CFO of DirectTV Group, says it wants to keep customer rates at a 3% to 4% price hike per year -- which he believes is modest versus other
multichannel TV providers, which can go to 7% to 8%.
"We are not trying to past through programming increases to consumers," he said.
More importantly, DirecTV tries to push other revenue streams. Doyle notes that DirecTV continues to grow its commercial, consumer movie business and advertising services -- all of which have seen double-digit revenue growth in recent periods.
"We want to make sure we have more people sign on to more advanced products," he says.
One of those advanced products is the NFL Sunday Ticket package -- where consumers can see NFL games in all regional markets. That price tag can be around $225 to $300 per season.
Sports programming fees continues to be a worry for multichannel TV providers. DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket is already prepping for its next round of contract talks with the league, says Doyle. He admitted rising sports programming costs are a concern.
Should the NFL price become too
high, DirecTV would consider taking on the NFL Sunday Ticket on a non-exclusive basis. DirecTV has been experimenting with a surcharge to customers when it comes to regional sports channels. "We have
been surprised with the reaction, which has been pretty mild," says Doyle.
DirecTV continues to see major growth in the Latin American markets and the satellite programming service continues to gain market share.
Would DirecTV would ever consider partnering with Netflix to grow subscription video-on-demand business, especially in that other multichannel video distributors are growing business in this area? Doyle says: "We have been pretty cautious. As we connect more of our boxes to broadband, we be able invest more... There would be some value there. But it is not top on our priority list right now. Our focus is to build our own SVOD product."