DirecTV Brazil had almost 440,000 subscribers at the end of the second quarter, or about 5,000 less than it had three months earlier. The churn rate has slowed, however: some 10,000 subscribers were lost in the first quarter. Despite the improvement in churn, DirecTV is still finding it hard to increase sales. Economic conditions are the main obstacle, with accelerating currency depreciation in the forefront in May and June. Management now expects the subscriber base at the end of 2002 to be practically unchanged from a year earlier. The good news is the strong post-launch sales performance of the new economy programming package (pacote Prata), which competes directly on price with cable companies. Despite a higher membership fee, management says sales of the new package performed well in July but has so far declined to provide numbers.