Since AT&T Bought DIRECTV It Has Lost 14 Million Subscribers and Is Now Reportedly Looking at Selling It





2023 was not a good year for DIRECTV. The Leichtman Research Group reports it lost 1.8 million subscribers. Now, according to the TVAnswerMan, since AT&T bought it in 2015, total losses of subscribers is 14 million.

DIRECTV is still the third-largest provider of TV services in the United States, but the numbers are falling fast. AT&T is looking to sell DIRECTV now or is at least open to the idea.

What We Know about AT&T’s Reported Plans to Sell DIRECTV

In 2021, AT&T completed its plan to spin off DIRECTV into an independent company, with 70% of it being owned by AT&T and 30% by TPG Capital.

In October, Bloomberg reported that AT&T was looking at options to sell all or part of its remaining shares of DIRECTV to other investors. This move could see AT&T fully leave the pay-TV service arena that it entered in 2015 when it bought the satellite provider. Or AT&T could retain partial ownership of DIRECTV.

Currently, DIRECTV controls all of AT&T’s remaining TV services, including U-verse TV and DIRECTV STREAM. With the growth in cord cutting, AT&T is looking at options to unload its shares in DIRECTV or at least reduce its ownership.

DIRECTV told Cord Cutters News that it wasn’t aware of any possible sale, reiterating what it told Bloomberg. AT&T declined to comment on the story.

2023 was a strong year for cord cutting: more than 6.9 million American households canceled cable and satellite TV. Some of the heaviest hit cable TV companies include Comcast, which lost over 2 million; Spectrum, which lost over 1 million; DIRECTV lost 1.8 million; and DISH, which lost 945,000, according to the Leichtman Research Group.

Many cable TV and network executives had expected streaming services to help replace these losses but that is not happening. YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling TV, and Fubo combined only added 1,894,000 subscribers in 2023. Most of that number came from YouTube TV, which added 1.9 million subscribers. Hulu added 100,000 live TV customers and Fubo added 173,000 subscribers in 2023. At the same time Sling TV lost 279,000 subscribers.

What This Means for Cord Cutting

Executives thought that they could replace cable TV losses by offering a streaming version through services like DIRECTV STREAM. So far, that has not worked, with many of those services losing subscribers. In the first half of 2023, services like Hulu + Live TV and Fubo lost 509,000 subscribers combined.

Increasingly, cord cutters who are not sports fans have subscribed to on-demand services like Disney+ and Paramount+. This has greatly impacted many cable companies’ plans to fight cord cutting by just offering cheaper streaming.

In the short term, AT&T’s move to sell all or part of its share in DIRECTV will have little impact on cord cutting. If you are a current subscriber, you likely won’t see any big change to how DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM work.

In the long term, AT&T’s move to sell DIRECTV could set off a domino of moves in cord cutting as a growing number of streaming services struggle to become profitable. Will other streaming services sell? Are we getting closer to the long-rumored merger of different streaming services? We will have to wait and see.

The good news is cord cutters should not be worried about any massive changes in the immediate future. Even if AT&T agrees to sell the company, we could be months away from that sale being completed.

Please follow us on Facebook and for more news, tips, and reviews. Need cord cutting tech support? Join our Cord Cutting Tech Support Facebook Group for help.

Disclaimer: To address the growing use of ad blockers we now use affiliate links to sites like, streaming services, and others. Affiliate links help sites like Cord Cutters News, stay open. Affiliate links cost you nothing but help me support my family. We do not allow paid reviews on this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from :

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.