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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Satellite TV Subscribers Down, Remaining Customers Growing in Value

DIRECTV, the leading satellite TV provider in the United States, experienced a huge second-quarter subscriber loss, with more than 130,000 households abandoning their satellite TV. This is bad news for the media giant, now merged with AT&T. But there is good news to go along with the bad: DIRECTV still showed a seven percent quarterly profit raise despite the subscriber loss.

More from FierceCable:

Moffett plied a unique formula that shows that while DirecTV is now in “secular decline” as far as customer numbers are concerned, the ” incremental lifetime value” of each subscriber is still growing. The formula accounts for revenue per customer, churn, programming costs and capital expenditures.

“DirecTV has been increasing incremental customer lifetime value over time, reflecting a combination of price increases and careful customer selection,” Moffett said.

“At DirecTV, higher gross margins have resulted in rising incremental lifetime values,” he added. “Today, a customer at DirecTV generates around $3,000 [over the lifetime of the customer relationship], up almost 20 percent over the past five years.”

What they mean by “careful customer selection” is that DIRECTV is more discerning in the customers the company targets, as well as those who pass the requirements for signup. DIRECTV customers are less likely to be delinquent on bills than many cable subscribers, and the value of each package per month brings in more money per customer, leading to a more profitable model.

Still, DIRECTV should not rest on its laurels. If the customer base continues its rapid decline, that could pass higher costs to current customers, leading them to cut the cord as well. Will this happen? Only time will tell.

NFL Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV – Week 3 Schedule

With the National Football League’s second week of regular season action in the books, it’s time to look ahead to Week 3. Several preseason favorite teams to make the playoffs, if not the Super Bowl, are down in a hole, with the Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles all winless at 0-2. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots look as strong as ever, and a number of other teams look to be throwing their proverbial hats in the ring. Lots of tough division and inter-conference games this week, with teams looking to get a leg up as the season kicks into high gear.

The only way to catch every game, every Sunday, is with NFL Sunday Ticket from DIRECTV. Here’s this week’s schedule of games and the channels on which they’ll air:

  • 1pm EDT
    • Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens – 705
    • Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns – 706
    • San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings – 707
    • Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots – 708
    • Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams – 709
    • Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans – 710
    • New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers – 711
    • Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys – 712
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans – 713
    • Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets – 714
  • 4pm EDT
    • San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals – 715
  • 4:25pm EDT
    • Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins – 716
    • Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks – 717

Contact Mid-America Satellite for great deals on NFL Sunday Ticket and other packages from DIRECTV.

Thursday Night Football Draws Record Ratings on Network and Cable TV

Last week’s Broncos-Chiefs Thursday Night Football matchup, airing on CBS on broadcast TV and NFL Network on cable TV, was one of the crazier primetime games in recent memory, with Peyton Manning fighting against Father Time and the decline of his arm to lead a game tying drive in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, capped off by a laser touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders. The game appeared headed to overtime, but Andy Reid decided to have his Chiefs run a play instead of kneeling the ball to head to the extra session, and Jamaal Charles fumbled after the handoff, with the Broncos picking up the ball and running in for the game-winning score.

The game also drew crazy ratings, according to Awful Announcing, drawing a record for Thursday Night Football broadcasts:

The Thursday Night Football machine isn’t slowing down – in fact, it’s only picking up steam. This week’s matchup between the Broncos and Chiefs drew a 14.3 overnight on CBS and NFL Network, 4% up from the previous high mark for TNF (Ravens-Steelers last season).

The 4% jump isn’t really a large one – in fact, the game’s 12.9 primetime overnight was identical to last year’s Ravens-Steelers prime night overnight. But nevertheless, it’s still a new high for a franchise that only made its broadcast debut last season for CBS.

That new record may not last long, however. Next week’s Redskins-Giants matchup is one that could bring in plenty of eyeballs from the northeast, and the week after that features a matchup of the previous high watermark – Ravens-Steelers.

In fact, over the rest of TNF’s CBS schedule this season (which ends after Week 8), there are a couple of tantalizing matchups past the two just mentioned. Week 7 will feature the Seahawks and 49ers, while Week 8 features a potentially crucial battle between the Dolphins and Patriots.

Proof once again that America cannot get enough of the NFL, and as long as the league continues to print money with live broadcast rights, it will remain America’s true pastime.

DIRECTV Still Without Pac-12 Networks

The Pac-12 Networks, airing NCAA sports from the Pac-12 conference including basketball, football, and more, have been up and running for four years now, and are carried on most major cable and telecom providers. They have not, to this point, been available on satellite with DIRECTV, whose subscriber base leans more toward sports fans than non-sports fans due to the carrier’s exclusive rights with the NFL Sunday Ticket package.

Since AT&T and DIRECTV merged, many were hoping that the Pac-12 Networks would become available on DIRECTV. But talks have collapsed, and it doesn’t look like either party is willing to budge, leading to yet another college football season for DIRECTV subscribers without the Pac-12 series of networks.

More from the San-Jose Mercury News blog:

The league’s presidents and chancellors determined that AT&T’s requests would have compromised the networks’ business model and long-term profitability without granting enough in return.

The networks are wholly owned by the league, in contrast to counterparts at the Big Ten (co-owned by FOX) and SEC (co-owned by ESPN).

The proposal by AT&T, which took control of DirecTV this summer,  likely would have forced the Pac-12 Networks to redo their existing distribution deals (with Comcast, DISH, etc.) at a lower subscription rate, jeopardizing future profits.

AT&T is believed to have wanted an equity stake in the networks, according to a source, but that was not the primary concern of the CEOs.

The conference currently uses what’s called a Most Favored Nation agreement, which gives any partner access to the best subscription rates available.

In addition, the income from carriage on DirecTV would have been lower, initially, than previous reports ($2 million to $3 million per school per year), according to sources.

This could lead some sports fans to consider jumping ship to other satellite and cable TV providers.

NFL Sunday Ticket – Week 2 Schedule

The first week of NFL action is in the books, with some upsets, some expected results, and because of the New England Patriots, plenty of controversy. But with the offseason finally over, focus is once again on the field of play, and there are plenty of great matchups coming up this Sunday. The only way to get every game, every Sunday is with NFL Sunday Ticket, available from DIRECTV.

Here is the schedule for Sunday’s games, along with what NFL Sunday Ticket channel the games will be broadcast on, only on DIRECTV:

  • 1pm EDT
    • New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills – 705
    • Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers – 706
    • San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals – 707
    • Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns – 708
    • Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears – 709
    • Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings – 710
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints – 711
    • Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants – 712
    • San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers – 713
    • Louis Rams at Washington Redskins – 714
  • 4pm EDT
    • Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars – 715
    • Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders – 716
  • 4:25pm EDT
    • Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles – 717

As always, you can take advantage of DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket by signing up with Mid-America Satellite today!

College Football Ratings Up This Labor Day: 144% Better than Last Year

This Labor Day, the number one college football team in the nation, the Ohio State Buckeyes, took on the Virginia Tech Hokies to close out the first weekend of college football for this year’s regular season. This matchup came in at 144% over last year’s Labor Day matchup, and gave ESPN the highest overnight rating for an opening weekend college football game since 2010 across all networks, even though ESPN is a cable TV channel and many games are on broadcast networks like CBS.

More from TV by the Numbers:

Additionally, the much anticipated matchup is the most-streamed college football regular-season game on WatchESPN of all time. Across all devices, the Ohio State victory had an average minute audience of 194,000 users and a total of 708,000 unique viewers on WatchESPN, accumulating 41,900,000 million minutes viewed throughout the game. Each category is an increase from the November, 29, 2014 Iron Bowl featuring Auburn at Alabama — which held the previous best in each category —  by 63%, (119,000 users) 49%, (475,000 unique viewers) and 43% (29,300,000 live minutes), respectively.

Many have discussed a lessening of ESPN’s power in the cable TV universe, but as long as the channels has marquee sporting events carried live, there will always be a place for it. That they had a record number of people streaming the game also shows that they are willing to adapt, and that live rights for sporting events are still a big deal.

NFL Sunday Ticket Free Preview: Week 1 Schedule

Current NFL Sunday Ticket customers with DIRECTV already know what they’re in for this year: every game, every Sunday, barring any local blackouts. DIRECTV customers who do not have NFL Sunday Ticket, though, will get a taste this week, the first of the NFL regular season. The free preview encapsulates all the NFL Sunday Ticket package has to offer, including the NFL Red Zone Channel (bringing you every touchdown and pivotal play as it happens) the game center where you can watch multiple games at once and choose which you’d like to put full screen, and a whole lot more.

Here is the schedule for the first Sunday of the NFL season, along with the NFL Sunday Ticket DIRECTV channel where the game will air:

  • 1pm EDT
    • Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills – 705
    • Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans – 706
    • Cleveland Browns at New York Jets – 707
    • Miami Dolphins at Washington Redskins – 708
    • Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears – 709
    • Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars – 710
    • Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams – 711
  • 4:05pm EDT
    • New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals – 712
    • Detroit Lions at San Diego Chargers – 713
  • 4:25pm EDT
    • Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos – 714
    • Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders – 715
    • Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 7/16

All DIRECTV viewers should enjoy the preview, and contact Mid-America Satellite to get NFL Sunday Ticket.

Sprint Targets DIRECTV Satellite TV Customers

AT&T recently closed its $49 billion acquisition of satellite TV provider DIRECTV, making the company an even bigger giant in the telecom world, and is trying to take advantage of its large new customer base by offering deals to bundle their satellite TV service with AT&T’s telecom services. AT&T’s rival wireless carrier, Sprint, has decided to go after the same customer base, offering a year of free wireless service to DIRECTV customers who sign up with Sprint.

Here’s more on the deal from Forbes:

Sprint will offer DirecTV customers who sign up for its service unlimited voice and text and up to 2 GB of data per month for a full year, while also providing customers an option to trade in their existing phones for cash or have their early termination fees paid for by Sprint. After a year, customers will pay a monthly fee of $50 for the plan. Customers must buy or lease a new phone through Sprint and will also have to pay a one-time $36 activation fee, in addition to the usual monthly taxes and surcharges. The offer is well timed, running through September 30, likely targeting customers who are looking to upgrade to Apple’s latest iPhones, which are due in mid-September. In comparison, AT&T is offering $300 in bill credits to DirecTV customers for each wireless line they port to the carrier, as well as a $10 per month recurring discount, in addition to trade-in benefits for smartphones. This effectively values Sprint’s offer at $600 and AT&T’s offer at about $420 for the first year, excluding trade-in benefits.

The question is, will all of this work? Early predictions show that even though the offer through Sprint has a higher monetary value, AT&T has greater coverage and customer satisfaction. But this could take a chunk out of the money that AT&T hoped to gain immediately through this merger, and that’s probably a victory enough.

More for Cord Cutters: CBS to Stream College Football Lineup

This Saturday, college football begins in earnest, bringing a close to a long offseason and plenty of fan withdrawals. Good news for cord cutters this year, especially those who follow teams in the SEC: CBS will be streaming its entire college football lineup, including the 17 game SEC schedule beginning this Saturday with the annual Kickoff Game in Atlanta between Louisville and Auburn.

Online football watchers do not need to have a cable TV or satellite TV ID in order to watch the games, as they do not require authentication on CBSSports.com or the CBS mobile app and CBS tablet app. As a bonus for those watching online, there’s an online-only pregame show featuring Teryn Schaefer, Matthew Coca, and Brady Quinn. The team will also analyze the game at halftime and provide postgame coverage.

Here’s the schedule, via Awful Announcing:

Sept. 5 3:30 PM LOUISVILLE vs. AUBURN

(Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game)  

Sept. 12 3:30 PM GEORGIA at VANDERBILT
Sept. 19 3:30 PM AUBURN at LSU
Sept. 26 3:30 PM SEC GAME OF THE WEEK
Oct. 3 3:30 PM SEC GAME OF THE WEEK
Oct. 10 3:30 PM SEC GAME OF THE WEEK
Oct. 17 3:30 PM SEC GAME OF THE WEEK
Oct. 24 3:30 PM SEC GAME OF THE WEEK
Oct. 31 3:30 PM FLORIDA vs. GEORGIA
Nov. 7 3:30 PM

8:00 PM

SEC GAME OF THE WEEK #1

SEC GAME OF THE WEEK #2

Nov. 14 12:00 NOON

3:30 PM

SEC GAME OF THE WEEK #1

SEC GAME OF THE WEEK #2

Nov. 21 3:30 PM SEC GAME OF THE WEEK
Nov. 27(Fri) 2:30 PM MISSOURI at ARKANSAS
Nov. 28 3:30 PM SEC GAME OF THE WEEK
Dec. 5 4:00 PM SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Get ready for kickoff!