DirecTV looks to HD for future growth

DirecTV, the News Corporation-controlled US satellite broadcaster, unveiled first-quarter profits of $235m, up from a year-ago loss of $41m, on revenues of $3.39bn, up from $3.15bn for the first three months of 2005.

The largest digital satellite pay-TV provider in the US added 255,000 net new subscribers in the quarter. That takes DirecTV's total subscriber base to 15.39m, up from 14.45m a year ago.

DirecTV CEO Chase Carey said the introduction of new high-definition programming would "play an increasingly important role in DirecTV's competitive strength and future growth".

He added: "Just two weeks ago, we launched local HD channels in eight new cities bringing our total coverage to 20 markets representing about 40% of US TV households.

"We will continue launching new markets over the coming months and by the end of the year, we expect to have HD local channels available to approximately three-quarters of all households.

"And after the launch of our two remaining HD satellites next year, we expect to have the most comprehensive and compelling offering of HD programming for nearly every home in America."

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