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AT&T U-Verse TV Subscriber Total Reaches 126K

In its third-quarter earnings release Tuesday morning, AT&T said the subscriber base for its U-Verse TV video service reached 126,000 as of Sept. 30.

That total is up from the 51,000 the company recorded at the end of the second quarter. AT&T had just 3,000 subscribers for its Internet-protocol-based video service at the end of the third quarter of last year.

The company had set a target of 10,000 installs per week by the end of the year, and it said it was close to hitting that rate at the end of the quarter. Weekly installs were at 5,500 at the end of the second quarter. AT&T’s total video connections, which include bundled satellite offerings, rose 215,000 to 2.1 million.

On the company’s earnings call Tuesday morning, chief financial officer Rick Lindner said more than 50% of U-verse TV subscribers are taking the top two video tiers offered and more than 60% take the top two data speeds, which generates a recurring average revenue per unit of $100-$129.

Lindner also addressed a U-verse TV outage that occurred across its systems Sunday. A software load onto its system Saturday affected the database used to track and maintain the programming packages, which caused some channels to black out. Local programming and some cable networks were quickly restored, but the complete service was not back up and running again until 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The company plans to provide some credits to customers to compensate for the inconvenience, Lindner said.

AT&T’s total Q3 revenue was $30.1 billion in the quarter, led by the voice segment, which represented 34% of revenues; wireless, which was 32.6%; and data, which was 19.5%. Revenue was up from $15.6 billion in the same quarter one year ago and precludes the BellSouth merger completed in December. Based on pro forma results combining AT&T, BellSouth and Cingular Wireless revenues, the total revenues for the quarter would have represented a rise of 3.2%.

Net income for the third quarter was $3.1 billion versus $2.2 billion a year ago. The company reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.71, which met Wall Street consensus estimates.