It appears the spat with Viacom had a significant effect on the company. DirecTV says the drop is due to policy.
DirecTV is a company with an impressive track record. It loses customers and gains customers like any other, but it has never lost more than it gained. Until now.
In the last quarter, DirecTV lost 52,000 subscribers. While it seems obvious to point at the recent loss and then renewal of Viacom programming as the issue, DirecTV claims that tighter credit restrictions and a new target of "higher quality" customers means that the loss was to be expected.
Whatever the reason, you can bet folks at DirecTV aren't looking thrilled right now.