DirecTV reported its strongest domestic net new subscriber additions in seven years in the third quarter, silencing the naysayers who criticized its free promotion for its NFL Sunday Ticket package.
Investors were more than pleased, sending DirecTV shares up as much as 6.6% ($2.95 each) to $47.81 per share in early trading. The stock has settled down a bit since, trading at $46.55, up 3.8% ($1.69) at 10:24 a.m.
DirecTV added 327,000 net new subscribers in the third quarter, soundly beating analysts' estimates of 203,000 net new additions.
In a research note, ISI Group media analyst Vijay Jayant called the subscriber performance, nearly double last year's additions of 174,000 net new customers, "almost disbelievingly good." And he tied most of that growth to the Sunday Ticket promo.