Overall revenue at Turner was up 5.6% year over year to $3.2 billion, benefiting from the NBA basketball season's move into the third quarter.
The services had 36.3 million subscribers in the United States in the previous quarter. AT&T said it now expects to generate free cash flow of at least Dollars 26 billion this year and pay out just over 50 percent of that in dividends.
AT&T is playing catchup to larger streaming video rivals. The unit, which includes DirecTV, has suffered the lion's share of cord-cutting in recent years, prompting the company to explore a sale of the satellite business. Revenue was also lower, coming in at $42.3 billion compared to $44.6 billion in the year-ago quarter. Both Warner Bros. and Home Box Office segments saw revenue declines, a somewhat expected turn due to the continued effects of Covid-19 on theatrical revenues, production and content licensing; HBO's revenue was down slightly, 2.1%, to $1.8 billion as content revenues dipped, but subscription rates and revenues are increasing.
The streaming service, which debuted in May, is becoming more of a bright spot for the company after a slow start. The company said it expects free cash flow to reach $26 billion or higher, with its dividend payout ratio in the high 50% range.
"We're still committed to putting some of the content we think is most important into a theatrical channel if that makes sense", Stankey said; though he cautioned that the studio is "not expecting ... a huge recovery in theatrical".
On Tenet, he said, "I'm happy we did it".
The latest quarter included 151,000 paying wireless subscribers retained under Keep Americans Connected, a program launched as a federal coronavirus forbearance initiative. And the company also added 6 million domestic wireless customers.
While still an extremely high numbers, it's fewer than half of the 1.358 million total video subscribers the company lost in the same quarter past year.
Mr. Stankey said earlier this week at The Wall Street Journal's Tech Live conference that the market power of tech giants like Amazon warranted more scrutiny. Subscribers, can access HBO on those devices through the HBO App. WarnerMedia also plans to expand HBO Max into Latin America and western Europe in the months ahead. The gains were driven nearly entirely by the National Basketball Association season's resumption and political advertising that have helped stabilize the continued challenges Covid-19 is having across the entertainment and media industry broadly and AT&T in particular. The stock is off about 28% so far this year.