Moffett Casts More Doubt on Value of DirecTV Now Subs

Though DirecTV Now subs gained in Q4 helped to bring balance to AT&T’s declining traditional pay TV sub base, the true value of the new OTT-TV service remains questionable, a top industry analyst believes.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it is self-evidently better to have an OTT business that is successful in acquiring customers than to have one that is not,” MoffettNathanson’s Craig Moffett wrote in a note issued Friday. “Still, from a value creation perspective, this result must be judged a disappointing one.”

Moffett’s blog post—titled AT&T Pre-Announced Subscriber Metrics: Beauty is in The Eye of The Beholder—arrived soon after AT&T filed an 8-K pre-announcing Q4 subscriber results, including word that AT&T added more than 200,000 video subs in the period, “entirely driven” by DirecTV Now, the OTT-TV service that launched in late November.

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