DirecTV is working on a plan to offer subscribers access to its programming via broadband. Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation controls DirecTV, America's largest digital satellite broadcaster, said the plan would be unveiled within a couple of months.
DirecTV is in discussions with rival satellite broadcaster EchoStar to create a high-speed broadband network, which Murdoch said would help DirecTV compete against cable operators and telecommunications groups offering television services via broadband.
Murdoch was talking as DirecTV posted fourth-quarter profits of $121.2m compared with year-ago losses of $288.5m, on revenues of $3.6bn, up 7%. DirecTV added 200,000 net subscribers in the quarter, taking its base to 15.13m.
DirecTV CEO Chase Carey said though subscriber growth had been less than expected it was "consistent with our initiatives to improve the quality of new subscribers and drive lower churn".
Carey went on: "Just as 2004 was an important year for DirecTV in terms of restructuring the business and selling non-core assets, 2005 was important because we built our critical infrastructure that will provide us with the foundation for future growth.
"For example, we launched three new satellites, including two that will broadcast high-definition local channels, and we also introduced the industry's first MPEG-4 high-definition receiver and one of the most advanced digital video recorders. With these assets, we believe we are in an excellent position to extend our video leadership in 2006 through the introduction of more high-definition programming, original and compelling content, a video-on-demand service, new interactive services and an enhanced NFL Sunday Ticket package."
News Corporation, which owns 37.2% of BSkyB's shares, unveiled second-quarter profits of $1.08bn, up from $386m a year ago, on revenues of $6.7bn, up 1.5%.
Earlier this week Murdoch confirmed plans to launch a business channel to rival CNBC.
Last month, BSkyB unveiled its Sky by broadband movie and sports download service.
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