Say what you will about the economy
, but don't dare touch an American's television. Clearly bucking the trend is DirecTV, who managed to slip into rarefied air with outfits like Netflix
by recording an absolutely marvelous Q4 2008. Beating analyst expectations by a solid mile, the satcaster added an amazing 461,000 new net subscribers in the quarter, with 301,000 -- the most in over three years -- coming in the US. DirecTV Latin America picked up the other 160,000, while a 1.47 percent churn rate was the lowest in nine years. In case you're scouting more good news, the company saw increased revenues in Q4 of 9 percent, while net income did slip 5 percent to $332 million. Of course, that may help explain the forthcoming price hike
-- clearly it can charge more
and get away with, so why not?