Dish ad hits DirecTV over celebrity endorsements

February 2, 2010 By DEBORAH YAO , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- Satellite TV providers Dish Network Corp. and DirecTV Inc. usually unleash attack advertisements against their cable TV competitors.

But as Dish lost subscribers while DirecTV gained, Dish has increasingly been targeting DirecTV.

At Sunday night's Grammy Awards, Dish unveiled a 30-second attacking DirecTV's list of celebrity endorsers, such as Beyonce, Christina Aguilera and Kim Basinger.

"Maybe that's why on average DirecTV customers spend over $175 a year more than customers," said the ad, which was created in-house at Dish.

"Someone's got to pay for it," said Ira Bahr, Dish's chief marketing officer.

Bahr, an advertising industry veteran, spearheaded a campaign to go against DirecTV just four months after joining Dish in February 2009. This week's ad is one of the most aggressive yet.

So far, he said, the campaign is working. Dish lost 94,000 net subscribers in the first quarter of 2009 and added 26,000 net customers in the second quarter, its first increase in five quarters. By the third quarter, it has gained 241,000.

Bahr said the commercial will run nationally through February and beyond if it continues to bring in subscribers.

DirecTV didn't immediately return a call for comment.

Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett said the two have stepped up their discounting and promotions to get customers. Since last year, they're also spending more on attacks ads.

"This time, they're aimed at each other. This posture stands in stark contrast to prior years, when they principally targeted cable as 'the other guys,'" he said in a research note.

"It is hard to view this as a positive development for either one," Moffett added.

Explore further: Report: DirecTV to promote own 'Tivo' box

0 shares

Related Stories

Report: DirecTV to promote own 'Tivo' box

October 7, 2005

DirecTV is reportedly set to unveil its digital video recorder next week in what is seen as a direct challenge to the increasingly popular TiVo device.

Dish Network 1Q profit rises 21 percent

May 11, 2009

Dish Network Corp., the second-largest satellite TV provider in the U.S., surprised investors Monday by posting first-quarter results that were not as bad as feared. Earnings rose by 21 percent on the back of price increases ...

DirecTV shows subscriber gains, as rivals see loss

November 5, 2009

(AP) -- Satellite TV operator DirecTV Group Inc. was one of the few pay-TV companies to attract new subscribers in the third quarter, as it reported revenue growth of 10 percent that was partly offset by higher costs to attract ...

Recommended for you

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.