DirecTV posts strong Q2 sub growth

Basic sub trends at Cablevision, TW Cable go different ways

NEW YORK -- Satellite TV giant DirecTV on Thursday reported 100,000 subscriber net additions in the U.S. in the second quarter and an all-time record 415,000 net subscriber additions at DirecTV Latin America.

The company recorded a 12% quarterly revenue gain to $5.85 billion, with profit rising 33% to $543 million.

Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett in a first note to investors addressed recurring concerns over DirecTV's ability to maintain subscriber growth. "Today's results suggest that subscriber growth is just fine, thank you (and better than fine in Latin America)," he wrote.

Meanwhile, second-quarter basic subscriber and profit figures at two major cable operators showed somewhat diverging trends.

Cablevision Systems added 2,900 basic video subscribers, while Time Warner Cable lost 111,000.
Cablevision also added 21,100 digital cable, 27,000 broadband and 24,900 telephony customers. TWC gained 50,000, 85,000 and 63,000

While Cablevision's profit declined 30% to $60.9 million (due to costs for debt extinguishment and higher interest expenses) even though revenue rose 6%, TWC recorded gains in both metrics. Its profit rose 8% to $342 million on a 6% revenue gain.

All three major distributors recorded advertising revenue gains at their cable systems in the second quarter.
TWC reported a 24% improvement, Cablevision recorded a 27% gain, and DirecTV just mentioned ad growth along with higher premium movie sales as key revenue drivers.