AT&T Drops DISH in Favor of DirecTV

DirecTV_iPhone.jpgThe folks over at DISH Network aren’t happy today. Reuters is reporting that AT&T has decided to drop its partner of five years in favor of DirecTV to offer a new co-branded package of cell phone, home phone, video, and Internet service beginning on February 1, 2009.

The report said that since the start of the year, DISH has struggled to add net subscribers. In fact, it lost 25,000 of them in the second quarter, which is the first time it ever posted a loss in number.

“The worry is how many quarters in 2009 do they lose subscribers,” said analyst Thomas Eagan, an analyst at Collins Stewart, in the article. “They were adding about 100,000 gross subscribers a quarter from the AT&T deal. We think they can make just half of those and will lose subscribers in three of four quarters next year.”

Back in January, DirecTV launched a mobile site that lets subscribers control their DVR from their cell phones. In 2006, DirecTV partnered with RCA to launch a dedicated portable media player called the Lyra X3000 that let users watch recorded content on the go; after a modest revision, it was eventually discontinued without a successor.