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SBD/November 4, 2011/FinancePrint All
DirecTV's "billion-dollar bet on football is paying off," according to Claire Atkinson of the N.Y. POST. Thanks to a "wildly popular promotion for its exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket package, the satellite-TV provider added 327,000 US subscribers in the third quarter -- the most in seven years -- blowing away analysts’ estimates for a gain of 158,000." DirecTV "offered the football package free for a year to customers who signed two-year contracts, saving subscribers more than $300 this season." The satellite broadcaster "pays the NFL an estimated $1 billion a year for exclusive rights to broadcast out-of-market games on Sunday afternoons." DirecTV’s total U.S. subscriber base "rose 4.3 percent in the third quarter to 19.76 million, putting it within striking distance of Comcast, with 23 million customers nationwide." DirecTV's profit "rose 8 percent to $516 million, or 70 cents a share, versus analysts’ expectations of 72 cents," while revenue "grew 14 percent to $6.84 billion" (N.Y. POST, 11/4). Viewership for NFL Sunday Ticket rose "by 75% on linear and 40% on mobile" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 11/4). Including Latin American operations, net gains "were 901,000, the best for any quarter" (AP, 11/3). At presstime, shares of DirecTV were trading at $46.85, down from Thursday's close of $47.63 (THE DAILY).
EYE ON GROWTH: CBS Corp. Thursday "reported net income of $338 million, or 50 cents a share, up from $317 million, or 46 cents a share, in the same quarter last year." In N.Y., Brian Stelter notes, "What are by far the biggest parts of CBS, its broadcast network and syndication units, grew slightly in the quarter in part because of new online streaming deals and international deals." The smaller part that "includes Showtime and the CBS Sports Network grew more significantly, largely for the same reasons" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/4).