US telco giant ends March with 83,000 fewer DirecTV Now users

AT&T’s big bet on video has yet to pay off. Still.

The US telco giant’s first quarter report this week revealed it lost 544,000 premium TV customers, leaving it with 22.4 million in total. Similarly its DirecTV Now streaming service – which is supposed to help AT&T compete more directly against the likes of Netflix, YouTube and Amazon – shed 83,000 customers, giving it a total of 1.5 million.

AT&T’s mobile division fared better, recording net additions of 80,000 postpaid phone customers. Prepaid phone net additions came in at 85,000. The telco ended the quarter with 155.7 million wireless connections, of which 54.4 million are connected devices.

On the financial side, the addition of Time Warner helped AT&T’s revenue increase to $44.8 billion from $38 billion a year earlier. However, this fell short of analyst expectations, according Reuters, which was for revenue of $45.1 billion.

Mobile turnover was $17.6 billion, again, slightly below analyst estimates of $17.7 billion.

Group net income fell to $4.1 billion from $4.7 billion in Q1 2018.

Meanwhile, AT&T’s closely-watched net debt stood at $169 billion at the end of March, the telco said it is on track to cut it to $150 billion by the end of the year.