While no one on the outside knows exactly what’s going on behind closed doors, it appears as though AT&T still has some work to put in if it hopes to get its $50 billion DirecTV merger proposal approved by regulators. The company had already made some promises in an effort to win favor with the Federal Communications Commission, including a promise to deliver gigabit U-verse Internet service to nearly 12 million households, but now we’ve reached a new phase of bargaining that was probably inevitable: AT&T has a deal for poor people that it hopes is too good for regulators to pass up. More →
Whenever your rivals complain to the Council of Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division, one of two things are possible: Your ad is either really deceptive or it’s really effective. Comcast last year scored some points for going after a particularly deceptive AT&T ad that bragged about having “the fastest Internet for the price” for a 3Mbps service that cost $30 per month. However, the company’s latest complaint about DirecTV’s hugely effective ad campaign starring Rob Lowe doesn’t strike us as nearly as persuasive. More →
Is AT&T actually trying to convince people to support the DirecTV merger or is this all part of a competition with Comcast and Time Warner Cable to see which major proposed merger will generate the most public hostility? AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to make the case that his company’s proposed merger with DirecTV will be good for consumers. And right off the bat, Stephenson made a highly dubious argument that we’d have a hard time believing was real if it hadn’t been relayed to us through AT&T’s own Twitter account. More →
AT&T hasn’t exactly been overwhelming us with good reasons to support its merger with DirecTV so far. Unsurprisingly, its latest regulatory filing hasn’t really changed any of that — the company is still saying that merging with DirecTV will save it money by giving it more leverage in its negotiations with content but it’s not pledging that customers will reap the benefits of those savings in the form of lower prices. However, Re/code has spotted a detail in the filing in which AT&T hints that the DirecTV might be a good deal for people who want to buy bundled services and a bad deal for cord cutters who want to get their TV fix over the Internet. More →
AT&T has just given us the best reason yet to support its merger with DirecTV, and frankly it’s not all that great. Per Re/code, AT&T said in a regulatory filing this week that one reason to support its proposed DirecTV merger would be that AT&T would gain added leverage in negotiations with content providers to lower the prices that they charge for the rights to broadcast their shows. More →
AT&T announced on Sunday that its board of directors has approved plans to acquire the nation’s leading satellite TV provider, DirecTV. AT&T will play $95 per share for DirecTV in a cash and stock deal worth nearly $50 billion. If the deal is approved by regulators, it will make AT&T the No. 1 pay TV provider in the world with a total of about 26 million subscribers. More →
If at first you don’t succeed… buy, buy again. According to a report from Bloomberg on Monday afternoon, AT&T is in advanced talks to acquire pay TV giant DirecTV. Multiple unnamed sources tell the news organization that the deal could cost AT&T about $100 per share, or a total of roughly $50 billion. More →
With Comcast and Time Warner Cable fighting to merge, AT&T has no intentions of sitting idle. The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday night reported that AT&T has approached satellite TV giant DirecTV about a possible acquisition. As the report notes, such a deal would instantly propel AT&T from being a somewhat small player in the pay TV market to being the No. 2 provider in a post-Comcast/TWC merger world. Should Comcast’s acquisition fall through, a DirecTV deal would make AT&T the top pay TV provider in the country with nearly 26 million subscribers, after adding DirecTV’s 20 million households to its own 5.7 million. The Journal notes that such a deal would be worth at least $40 billion, which is DirecTV’s current market capitalization.
Not surprisingly, we can now count DirecTV CEO Mike White among those who oppose Comcast’s proposed Time Warner Cable acquisition. During the pay TV provider’s earnings call on Thursday afternoon, White was asked to share his feelings on the merger that would see two of the country’s largest TV and Internet providers merge into a single giant. According to an account from The Wall Street Journal, White said that the deal would create “unprecedented media concentration in one company,” and the combined entity would have an “effective monopoly” in two-thirds of the United States. Dish chairman Charlie Ergen had previously said that there would be some benefits to the Comcast-TWC merger, but he expressed doubt that regulators would ever approve the deal.
It’s sad that many of us have come to dread election years since it means we’ll get bombarded with nonstop propaganda telling us to vote for a particular candidate or to vote a particular way on a given ballot initiative. Political consultants don’t think that we get enough such ads every two years, however, and that’s why they’re working on ways to make sure we see more ads that are targeted toward our specific political beliefs. More →
Pay TV service providers are among a few groups of companies that customers love to hate, and sometimes they go out of their way to remind us why. As families across the country come together to celebrate the holidays, satellite TV giants Dish Network and DirecTV are wishing them a Merry Christmas by hiking the cost of their service plans. In line with years past, both companies have confirmed that they will raise the prices of various television packages and increase service fees as well.
The increases come at a time when “cord cutting,” or canceling pay TV service in favor of online video streaming services, is becoming an increasingly common trend — to the point where cable companies are producing awful, awful anti-cord cutting campaigns as a last-ditch effort to win back lost subscribers and prevent current customers from leaving. More →
A Hulu sale is imminent and DirecTV is the likely victor, according to multiple unnamed sources speaking to Pando Daily. This would be possibly the best case scenario for a strong Hulu move towards original content creation. DirecTV is a behemoth with 20 million subscribers and annual revenue of roughly $20 billion. It could easily afford to launch an aggressive slate of Netflix-type original programming, even if hiring marquee names would push the cost of a limited series to $100 million a pop. More →