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DirecTV to Expand 'TV Everywhere' Push in 2013

DirecTV plans to build out its “TV Everywhere” services this year as it looks to compete with multiscreen-video offerings from cable competitors, according to president and CEO Mike White.

Asked on DirecTV’s Feb. 14 earnings call about Comcast and Time Warner Cable’s marketing of their TV Everywhere services, White said, “We've got our own TV Everywhere app, which we are aggressively expanding, and you'll see more on that this year.”

Currently, the DirecTV Everywhere lineup includes on-demand content from 36 networks, including those from A+E Networks, Scripps Networks Interactive, Viacom Media Networks, HBO, Showtime Networks and Starz Entertainment.

In addition to expanding DirecTV Everywhere, the largest U.S. satellite operator also plans to boost marketing of its multiroom-DVR Genie service and to “continue to improve our world-class user interface across all devices, with a special emphasis on search, discovery and social networking,” White said.

DirecTV chief financial officer Patrick Doyle, also on the call with analysts, said 2013 will be a “peak year” for U.S. capital spending with approximately $2 billion of capex this year. The higher capital expenditures are “mostly related to key initiatives that are expected to greatly enhance our DirecTV Everywhere experience, improve the user experience, drive deeper customer engagement and loyalty” as well as enhanceme the DirecTV headquarters campus in El Segundo, Calif., he said.

Toward the end of 2013, DirecTV plans to launch a video ad-insertion solution for its DirecTV Everywhere services, developed with FreeWheel. DirecTV also has taken an equity ownership stake in FreeWheel; terms of the investment were not disclosed.

With the FreeWheel-based system, DirecTV will be able to let programming partners and advertisers deliver ads for mobile and Web platforms. The operator itself also will sell ads for TVE content. At some point, the system could deliver targeted ads based on demographic data, according to the companies. DirecTV has not identified programmers it is working with on the initiative.

Overall, DirecTV posted solid fourth quarter 2012 results last week, adding 103,000 net new subscribers at its U.S. operations -- slightly ahead of analysts’ consensus targets of 96,000 additions -- to stand at 20.08 million total at the end of the year.