DIRECTV Has Lost 12 Million Subscribers Since AT&T Sale - The TV Answer Man! (2023)

DIRECTV’s TV services (DIRECTV, DIRECTV Stream and U-verse) have most more than 12 million subscribers since AT&T purchased the satellite company in 2015, according to financial reports. That’s nearly 50 percent of the subscriber base from seven years ago.

At the end of the third quarter of 2015, five weeks after AT&T purchased DIRECTV, the company had had 25.47 million subscribers — 19.57 million from DIRECTV and 5.9 million from U-verse.

(AT&T launched a live streaming service in 2016, now known as DIRECTV Stream, and spun off the three TV services with private equity firm, TPG, in 2021. AT&T owns 70 percent of the new DIRECTV company while TPG owns 30 percent.)

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Fitch Ratings, one of the nation’s largest credit ratings companies, said this week that the three DIRECTV services lost around 500,000 subscribers in the third quarter of 2022, bringing the company’s subscriber total to approximately 13.3 million. (Since the spin-off, DIRECTV does not publicly report its subscriber numbers.) If that number is true, that means that DIRECTV has lost nearly 12.2 million subscribers in the seven years since AT&T bought it for $67 billion.

“This transaction allows us to significantly expand our high-speed Internet service to reach millions more households, which is a perfect complement to our coast-to-coast TV and mobile coverage,” then AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a 2015 press release announcing the close of the DIRECTV sale. “We’re now a fundamentally different company with a diversified set of capabilities and businesses that set us apart from the competition.”

The failure to reach ‘millions more households’ by combining DIRECTV with AT&T’s communications business contributed to AT&T spinning off the TV company and later spinning off Warner Media in a deal with Discovery. AT&T decided to scale back and primarily become a communications business again.

(Stephenson stepped down as AT&T CEO in 2020 and is now the president of the Boy Scouts of America.)

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The pay TV industry as a whole has suffered significant losses over the last seven years due to cord-cutting and the explosion of live and on-demand streaming services. But DIRECTV’s subscriber erosion is unique. By comparison, Comcast has lost 5.68 million subscribers since the third quarter of 2015 (22.26 million to 16.58 million) to DIRECTV’s 12.2 million. Dish has lost 3.9 million subscribers in the seven years. (13.9 million to 10.02 million).

Despite DIRECTV losing around 500,000 subscribers in this year’s third quarter, Fitch notes that the loss is an improvement over previous years when it lost as much 1.4 million subscribers in a single three-month period.

“Although still significant, DIRECTV’s subscriber loss rates have substantially improved over the last two years, driven by lower churn,” Fitch states.

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The financial firm says it believes that DIRECTV Stream needs to grow to offset further losses from the satellite business. However, Stream faces competition from a handful of other well-financed live streamers, including Google’s YouTube TV, Disney’s Hulu Live and Dish’s Sling TV.

DIRECTV’s satellite business is facing the likelihood of the loss of the NFL Sunday Ticket after the 2022 season.

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The company’s uncertain outlook is a major reason why some (including Dish chairman Charlie Ergen) believe a merger between DIRECTV and Dish is ‘inevitable.’

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How many subscribers has DirecTV lost? ›

But as with the rest of the pay-TV biz, the operator has suffered steady declines over several years amid the rise in cord-cutting. DirecTV lost about 400,000 subscribers in the third quarter of 2022, to stand at an estimated 13.5 million customers, per Leichtman Research Group.

Why direct TV is losing customers? ›

Now DIRECTV no longer has AT&T's huge customer base to pull from by offering bundle deals with AT&T's internet and wireless services. This all leaves DIRECTV as one of the most variable TV companies out there with no internet services, home phone, or even wireless service to help offset the losses in its TV business.

Is direct TV losing customers? ›

DirecTV reportedly lost around 500,000 customers in its most recent quarter, according to ratings agency Fitch. Although DirecTV's losses slowed during the height of the pandemic, they recently accelerated to nearly 17%, according to MoffettNathanson.

Why did DirecTV leave AT&T? ›

DirecTV's value rapidly declined under AT&T's stewardship, as the company reported a $15.5 billion impairment charge in January 2021.

What is happening to directv now? ›

AT&T TV NOW (formerly DIRECTV NOW) was the brand name of a live TV & on demand streaming service, and was rebranded DIRECTV STREAM in 2021.

Who has more customers DirecTV or dish? ›

DirecTV is the larger of the two, with about 35 million subscribers compared with the roughly 14 million households served by Dish Network. The key differences between Dish and DirecTV lie in their pricing, DVRs and customer service. Dish is more affordable, costing an average of $60 to $120 a year less than DirecTV.

Who is DirecTV biggest competitor? ›

112 Customers rate DIRECTV's Product Quality Score a 2.4/5, which ranks it 3rd against its competitors, below Dish Network.
  • 1st. America Movil. 4.3 / 5.
  • 2nd. Dish Network. 2.9 / 5.
  • 3rd. DIRECTV. 2.4 / 5.

Why should I keep Direct TV? ›

DIRECTV is a great TV option for those who want loads of channels, access to NFL SUNDAY TICKET, and a traditional TV feel in their living room. This satellite TV service has all the channels you'll want—including premium channels, like HBO and SHOWTIME.

Is DirecTV being discontinued? ›

AT&T has officially gone nationwide with its new AT&T TV streaming service. That means DirecTV and U-verse are officially old news for the telecom giant. To be clear, DirecTV and U-verse aren't disappearing yet.

How long will DirecTV last? ›

Each of Dish's satellites are only expected to be useful for 15 years, meaning that in another five and a half years, only one of Dish's satellites will still be within its estimated useful lifespan. He said the situation is similar for DirecTV's fleet and that neither company is building any replacements.

Will Fox come back to DirecTV? ›

Fox Corp. and DirecTV have come to terms on a new agreement and averted a potential blackout of a number of networks. With the previous deal set to expire Friday at midnight, the two companies announced a multi-year carriage renewal in a joint press release Saturday.

How can I get DIRECTV for free? ›

Yes, DirecTV Stream offers a free trial, and signing up is simple. To sign up, enter a phone number, email address and credit card, and you'll receive five days of the service without charge.

What is the cheapest package that DIRECTV has to offer? ›

DIRECTV's cheapest offering is the ENTERTAINMENT package. At $64.99 a month for the first year, it gives you 165+ channels, including multiple ESPN and Disney channels, along with FX and IFC. A group of premium channels—HBO Max, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and MGM+ (formerly EPIX)—are free for the first three months.

Is DirecTV in financial trouble? ›

Directv is currently under evaluation in probability of bankruptcy category among related companies.

How much does DirecTV Now cost? ›

DIRECTV STREAM is #1 in variety of TV shows over all other streaming providers.ⓘ Packages start at $74.99/mo. +tax, with no hidden fees and no annual contract required. Price subject to change for new and existing customers.

How much is DirecTV a month? ›

DIRECTV packages start at $74.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees for DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT, which includes 165+ Channels. Or, go all out with DIRECTV PREMIER and get 340+ channels and 80,000+ On Demand titles.

Does DIRECTV have senior citizen discount? ›

No, DIRECTV doesn't currently offer senior discounts, but you can visit their website to check for ongoing promotions and deals.

Who is cheaper DISH or DIRECTV? ›

Pricing: DISH, hands down, has the best pricing. While DIRECTV's and DISH's pricing looks similar, DIRECTV's monthly cost goes up to its current price after the second year of your contract, and DISH promises a 3-year price lock. That means you'll save money overall if you choose DISH.

What is the cheapest satellite TV provider? ›

What's the cheapest satellite TV provider? DISH is the cheapest satellite TV provider. For $60 per month, you can get 190 channels (plus taxes and fees). DIRECTV is the most expensive in the long run—although it looks like it's cheaper than DISH at first glance because prices go up after the introductory period.

Who is getting sued by DIRECTV? ›

OAN-owner Herring Networks had sued DirecTV and its owner AT&T in March 2022, claiming breach of contract. The lawsuit always seemed like an uphill battle for Herring Networks because DirecTV didn't take OAN off the air while they still had a carriage agreement.

What is the cheapest way to watch TV without cable? ›

The cheapest live TV services for cord-cutting are the free ones: Pluto TV, Xumo, and Local Now. There are paid ones that cost very little, like Philo, Frndly TV, and Sling (especially the individual Blue or Orange plans).

Which is better DIRECTV or Verizon? ›

Is DIRECTV STREAM or Verizon better? For TV, Verizon is better than DIRECTV STREAM. Verizon Fios TV has the most channels, better picture quality, and no contracts.

Why is Direct TV bill so high? ›

You have a balance from last month's bill. You added additional equipment, or upgraded your current equipment (e.g., You upgraded an SD receiver to Genie, or added a Genie Mini) You incurred additional fees (e.g., Phone transaction fee, late fee, disconnection fee, Protection Plan cancellation fee, etc.)

Is DIRECTV better than cable? ›

Cable is better than DIRECTV. DIRECTV has two-year contracts. Some cable providers have no contracts, or at least no-contract plans (with higher prices).

Which cable TV provider is the best? ›

  • Xfinity TV. : Best cable TV provider of 2023.
  • Spectrum TV. : Best no-contract option.
  • Verizon Fios TV. : Best channel lineups.
  • Optimum TV. : Best for families.
  • Cox TV. : Best for customization.

Does DirecTV want their dish back? ›

EVERYTHING else becomes the property of the homeowner, that is why they never get dish or cabling back. The receiving dish once installed is your property. That is how it always has been. They never take it back.

Are satellite dishes being phased out? ›

The end of the satellite television dish is in sight after Sky said it would start offering most of its services via a set-top streaming box.

Is DirecTV changing its name? ›

The DirecTV Now app will update automatically to become the AT&T NOW app when the changes go live, the company said. DirecTV Now rebranding isn't the only change to AT&T's streaming plans in recent months.

What is better than directv now? ›

Sling Blue has one of the best price-quality ratios for cord-cutters. For only $40, you get access to big networks like AMC, Bravo, TBS, National Geographic, and NBC. This package from sling makes the most sense for cord-cutters who don't watch ESPN or the Disney Channel, which are included in the "Sling Orange" offer.

Can I watch DIRECTV without a cable box? ›

You can download the DIRECTV app onto many compatible smartphones and tablets, as well as TV streaming devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Goolge TV and other Android TV OS devices. You can also use the Chrome or Safari browser to access DIRECTV STREAM at

Do I own my DIRECTV equipment? ›

The DIRECTV satellite dish and associated hardware become the property of the customer after installation. This equipment is not required for return and DIRECTV cannot assist with removal or uninstallation of the dish.

Is dish and DirecTV going to merge? ›

For years there have been talks of a possible DIRECTV and DISH merger. Now the time may be finally right and 2023 may be the year the two satellite TV services merge.

When should I cancel DirecTV? ›

DIRECTV STREAM subscriptions can be canceled online, but you will incur cancellation fees just as you would with a traditional subscription. Time your cancellation around the end of your billing cycle to avoid paying any additional prorated fees.

Did AT&T dump DirecTV? ›

AT&T and TPG Capital have officially closed their transaction and established a new company named DirecTV. This new company will own and operate the DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse video services that were previously owned and operated by AT&T.

Is Fox ever coming back to dish? ›

We've got some great news! FOX Corporation and DISH have reached a long-term agreement, and these FOX stations have been restored: FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, Big Ten Network, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Deportes and FOX Owned and Operated Locals.

Why isn t ABC working on DIRECTV? ›

AT&T DirecTV customers no longer have access to local affiliate programming from major networks including ABC, Fox, NBC The CW and CBS due to an ongoing contract dispute with Nexstar.

Is Fox coming back? ›

While there's a chance it was just passing through, you're likely to see foxes return time and time again if: There's a water source such as a pond, fountain, swimming pool, puddles or a pet's water bowl. There's a food source such as bins, pet food or you're feeding other wildlife such as birds or hedgehogs.

Why is DirecTV breaking up? ›

This problem may be caused by bad weather (this is known as “rain fade”), trees or branches blowing in the line of sight of the receiver, or water pooling on your dish (in areas where dishes point more or less straight up.)

Who is taking over DirecTV? ›

AT&T announced earlier this year that it would spin its video properties DirecTV, AT&T TV, and U-verse into a new company it would co-manage with private equity firm TPG Capital. That transaction is finally complete, and the services will now operate as a single company under the name DirecTV.

How can I get DirecTV for free? ›

Yes, DirecTV Stream offers a free trial, and signing up is simple. To sign up, enter a phone number, email address and credit card, and you'll receive five days of the service without charge.

Is DirecTV going to get Fox back? ›

The new agreement covers FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network, Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer Plus, as well as retransmission consent for local Fox Television Stations across DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-verse. The stations are in major cities in 18 markets, including New York and LA.

Who is getting sued by DirecTV? ›

OAN-owner Herring Networks had sued DirecTV and its owner AT&T in March 2022, claiming breach of contract. The lawsuit always seemed like an uphill battle for Herring Networks because DirecTV didn't take OAN off the air while they still had a carriage agreement.

Is there a lawsuit against DirecTV? ›

In March 2021, OAN's parent company Herring Networks filed a lawsuit against DirecTV in state court, arguing the company had breached its contract when it decided it would stop carrying the channel. This came after DirecTV informed Herring of its decision not renew in January 2021.

Is AT&T TV replacing DirecTV? ›

Yes, on August 26th, 2021, the names of AT&T TV and AT&T TV NOW have both changed to DIRECTV STREAM. Only the names have changed. New and current customers can expect the same excellent service, same great selection of channels and on demand library, same great Cloud DVR, and same great app functionality.


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