DirecTV Plans Apple-Style Voice Capability

DirecTV CEO Mike White said Tuesday the satellite operator will soon offer the opportunity to search for content by voice while “leveraging the same kind of technology that Apple has.” That would be in line with what some TV manufacturers are doing as they look to offer voice and gesture control as part of a new frontier in the remote-control arena.

On an earnings call, White also said DirecTV would launch a new second-screen app with fantasy football content in conjunction with its “Sunday Ticket” package for the upcoming season.

Regarding TV Everywhere, he said DirecTV has rights to stream 83 channels live in the home and is working to gain the ability to offer increasing numbers outside the home.

In the most recent quarter, DirecTV had a net subscriber addition of 21,000 in the U.S., down from 81,000 in the same period last year. With 20.1 million subscribers at the end of the quarter, in the U.S., revenues were up by about $300 million to $5.8 billion.

Overall, including Latin American operations, profit fell to $690 million from $731 million in the same period a year ago.

Addressing whether DirecTV will look to re-up with the NFL for “Sunday Ticket” rights exclusively, White said it provides a promotional boost. DirecTV has about 2 million paying subscribers, but about 4 million total as people take advantage of special offers.

He said DirecTV wants to keep the package -- it has two more seasons under its current deal -- but “it is a pretty mature product as well."

 

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