DirecTV said it is laying off about 10% of its managerial staff as pay TV subscribers cut the cord with cable and satellite services.
“The entire pay TV industry is impacted by the secular decline and the increasing rates to secure and distribute programming. We’re adjusting our operations costs to align with these changes and will continue to invest in new entertainment products and service enhancements,” DirecTV said in a statement.
DirecTV was spun off from AT&T to a private-equity group in 2021 in a deal worth $49 billion. Since then it has moved to reduce operating costs, including programming.
According to credit reporting agency Fitch Ratings, DirecTV lost about 500,000 subscribers in the third quarter, leaving it with 13.3 million customers.
This was the last season DirecTV will be offering its subscriber the NFL’s out-of-market games package, Sunday Ticket. Sunday Ticket will be moving to Google’s YouTube TV and YouTube Premium Channels. Google is paying about $2 billion a year for the package.
DirecTV had about 1.5 million Sunday Ticket subscribers and was losing about $500 million a year on the $1.5 billion it was paying the NFL.
One bright spot for DirecTV might be its streaming service, branded DirecTV Stream in the second half of 2021.
According to a report from MoffettNathanson, DirecTV Stream had a 175% annual increase in minutes streamed in the fourth quarter over what was likely a very small base. ■
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.