DirecTV gain is subs standard

U.S. customer base grows to 17.2 mil after yet another healthy quarter

DirecTV Group continues to sign up subscribers at a healthy pace despite competitive and economic pressures.

DirecTV won 129,000 net U.S. subscribers in the second quarter, up from 128,000 in the year-ago period. This brought its total U.S. user base to 17.2 million as of June 30.

Overall revenue increased 16% year-over-year to $4.8 billion, helping profit climb 2% to $455 million.

Dish Network recently reported the first-ever quarterly subscriber loss for a satellite provider, fueling more talk of a merger with DirecTV.

DirecTV president and CEO Chase Carey declined comment on that issue during a conference call Thursday but said the merger of satellite radio's Sirius and XM doesn't make a deal more likely because the two businesses are very different.

He had nothing new to report about the relationship with Liberty Media, which controls DirecTV via a large stake. Analysts predict Liberty eventually will take full control by merging its Liberty Entertainment arm with DirecTV.

Asked about competition from telecoms and cable providers, Carey said, "We're seeing increased competitive pressures" as peers spend more to win customers. But, he added, "We like our competitive position against all of them."

DirecTV's monthly user churn in the U.S. hit its lowest mark in four years at 1.5% in the second quarter. (partialdiff)