It’s been an eventful year for DirecTV, the satellite broadcaster. The company was spun off earlier this year by its former parent company, AT&T, into a separate entity in which AT&T maintains majority control. The company also relaunched the service formerly known as AT&T TV as DirecTV Stream, although it risks losing its exclusive rights to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package.
Now, there’s a report that DirecTV plans to sublease much of its headquarters in El Segundo, Calif.
According to The Real Deal, a website that covers real estate news in the Los Angeles area, reported that the company “wants to sublease over 500,000 square feet of office space” at its headquarters.
“That would represent about 80 percent of the space DirecTV leases across three buildings — 2200, 2230 and 2250 East Imperial Highway, sources said. The lease for 2250 East Imperial Highway was signed with landlord Kilroy Realty in 2011, and is set to expire in 2027,” the Real Deal report said. The report also said that Kilroy had been sued by AT&T, prior to the spinoff, in order to “reduce DirecTV’s space” at one of the buildings.
A spokesperson told The Real Deal that DirecTV “will continue to have a presence” in El Segundo.
A report back in August stated that the physical satellites still used by DirecTV and Dish Network are “dying.”
MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett, as cited at the time by FierceVideo had pointed out the companies’ infrastructure was notably old.
“To dwell on whether a given quarter’ subscriber losses are a little better, or a little worse, than expected, or than last quarter, is to miss the point,” Moffett’s research note stated. “We are witnessing the long, slow goodbye of satellite TV. The terminal value of a satellite TV platform with neither satellites nor subscribers is, quite obviously…zero.”
“That programming dispute should be kept in mind as one considers Q2 results; programming costs could rise sharply if RSNs return with broadcast nets (the cost of broadcast nets can be assumed to rise with or without the RSNs),” the note added. “Absent a renewal, subscriber losses would be expected to accelerate without the local broadcast networks.”
According to an SEC filing earlier this year, AT&T lost 2.3 million video subscribers year over year, ending up with 15.412 million for a 13 percent drop. In the second quarter specifically, which came right before the closing of the spinoff, DirecTV lost about 473,000 subscribers, which, per Advanced Television, was the lowest number of subs it had lost since the fourth quarter of 2018. The service lost 887,000 subscribers the same quarter the year before.
Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.