AT&T Lost 627,000 Video Subscribers in Q3

AT&T reported today that it lost 590,000 premium video subscribers in the most recent quarter. AT&T TV Now, the company’s live TV streaming service, lost 37,000 subscribers.

The company ended Q3 with 17.1 million premium TV subscribers, down 16.3% year over year. AT&T TV Now is currently at 683,000 subscribers, down 40.3% year over year.

The company’s quarterly revenue was down 5% to $42.3 billion. AT&T again pointed to COVID-19 as a factor, citing theaters closing as a cause of Warner Bros. revenue dropping. Warner Bros. made an attempt to get back to theaters with the premiere of Tenet last month. “We can’t walk away saying Tenet was a homerun,” AT&T said during today’s call, sharing that sending the film to theaters was a move they had to make and that lessons have been learned about what to do and what not to do.

AT&T’s total debt was slightly down for the quarter, at $149 billion, down from $151 billion at this time last year. The company has been actively working toward lowering its debt, most recently by exploring options to offload DirecTV.

“We delivered a solid quarter with good subscriber momentum in our market focus areas of connectivity and software-based entertainment,” said John Stankey, AT&T chief executive officer. “Wireless postpaid growth was the strongest that it’s been in years with one million net additions, including 645,000 phones. We added more than 350,000 fiber broadband customers and are on track to grow our fiber base by more than 25% this year. And we continue to grow and scale HBO Max, with total domestic HBO and HBO Max subscribers topping 38 million — well ahead of our expectations for the full year. Our strong cash flow in the quarter positions us to continue investing in our growth areas and pay down debt. We now expect 2020 free cash flow of $26 billion or higher with a full-year dividend payout ratio in the high 50s%.”