& cplSiteName &

AT&T Closing on DirecTV?

Alan Breznick
5/13/2014
50%
50%

Determined not to be dwarfed by the prospective union of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, AT&T appears close to buying satellite TV king DirecTV for about $50 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.

Bloomberg cites people familiar with the matter who say that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is now in advanced talks with DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) about the deal. Under the plan being discussed, Bloomberg says, DirecTV management would continue to run the satellite service as a unit of AT&T. In addition, current DirecTV CEO Mike White would retire after 2015.

If the deal is actually sealed, it would create a huge phone/satellite/broadband monolith in the Americas, particularly in the US. In the pay-TV market alone, the new company would have more than 43 million video subscribers, including about 26 million in the US and the rest in Central and South America.

AT&T would also be scooping DirecTV out of the clutches of number two satellite TV player Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH), which has long craved to merge with DirecTV. Dish Chairman and Co-Founder Charlie Ergen has had his eye on DirecTV for years. (See Dish CEO: DirecTV Merger Possible.)

Of course, any deal struck by the two companies would be subject to big-time regulatory scrutiny by both the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , which are already gearing up to consider the proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK).

DirecTV's stock was buoyed by the M&A chatter, surging $5.29 (or about 6%) to $92.45 in after-hours trading on Monday evening. AT&T's share price dipped 6 cents to $36.51.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/14/2014 | 2:48:23 PM
Stop it
Russian is not particularly popular right now, but some government agency needs to say a loud "Nyet." I cannot imagine on what grounds such a deal could be justified, other than it would give AT&T even greater market cloud. Of course, the same goes for Comcast-TWC.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/13/2014 | 2:23:25 PM
How is free over the air TV doing?
Pay TV seems to be consolidating and growing... And it makes me wonder what the digital transition did to OTA TV? I know my rabbit ears stopped working they way they used to... And my OTA options seem a lot worse, but is OTA TV dying or...?
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/13/2014 | 2:16:06 PM
Consolidation
Lots of consolidation in cable. Doesn't look good for competition. 
VernonDozier
100%
0%
VernonDozier,
User Rank: Lightning
5/13/2014 | 1:16:48 PM
Re: Deal benefits?

For some reason, customers are willing to pay an AT&T premium for the same service; and it's a mystery of the ages.  No one really knows why.

But since Dallas-bassed Baby Bell, SBC, took over, AT&T is an interesting company.  AT&T changes the logo, lays off the good employees, that provide value to the services, Then AT&T promotes its own union rank-and-file into the company it acquired.

There was a chart that said AT&T UVerse actually costs less than AT&T DSL.  So my guess is that AT&T's marketing team hasn't done a good enough job letting people know about the 250GB cap it has every month.  This is about 5 UHDTV shows per month.

AT&T is just too big, so to create opportunities for promotions, for its workforce, and also grow its union membership, it has to acquire non-union companies, push the company's employees out, raise rates for an ad blitz.  Then, it'll be ready to acquire another company in 3 or 4 years. 

In most industries, technology increases efficiency and lowers rates.  However, AT&T isn't a telecom company.  AT&T Laboratories, based in Silicon Valley, is actually in the R&D business of inventing fees that outpace the technology and inflation.   Fact:  Your AT&T bill will never decrease, and you'll never get the same quantity and quality of service.

Why does this matter?  Well, if you were thinking of getting DirecTV, you may want to get it soon before AT&T jacks up the rate. As for DirecTV's 10-years of highest customer satisfaction... Well, judging from the past, those awards will go to another company next year.

After all, this is AT&T.

For over 100 years, AT&T's been in the business of lowering quality standards for all customers, making ads, and sponsoring sports teams, golf tournaments.

If I had $1.00 each time AT&T or a subsidary company that AT&T owns hired an ad agency to change its image, logo, or marketing tagline, I could personally purchase DirecTV.

$50,000,000,000.00?  Not a problem for AT&T.  They probably found this loose change between the Couch Cushions of the AT&T marketing department in Dallas.  It's the couch next to the three-story GOLD STATUE.  (Fact:  "Golden Boy" actually exists; look it up). 

That statue really helps AT&T's service quality.
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/13/2014 | 11:34:31 AM
Deal benefits?
I'm really trying to understand the  benefits of the deal. AT&T's spent a ton on IP video delivery in U-Verse markets, so tacking on satellite TV to U-Verse seems counter-intuitive. They're backing away from DSL in tens of millions of rural DSL markets where bundling satellite with slower DSL makes the most sense. That leaves shelling out this kind of cash primarily to eliminate a pay TV competitor. What other benefits does this deal actually provide AT&T outside of competition elimination and keeping the stock jocks happy?
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cable & the Move to IPTV

5|31|16   |   04:44   |   (0) comments


Cable operators are looking at transitioning operations to IPTV, and some have already started. What issues do operators face? What opportunities will this bring to customers? These are just a few of the questions Alticast considers in this interview between Alan Breznick and Susan Crouse at INTX 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Ooredoo at UBBS 2016

5|31|16   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


At UBBS 2016 in Dubai, Light Reading is joined by Ooredoo Qatar's Yann Courqueux for an in-depth interview on their success.
LRTV Custom TV
du's Success Infrastructure

5|31|16   |   11:48   |   (0) comments


At UBBS 2016 in Dubai, Light Reading is joined by du's Jasim Alawadi for an in-depth interview on deploying all types of technology.
LRTV Custom TV
What Is Customer Experience Management?

5|31|16   |   05:53   |   (0) comments


At UBBS 2016 in Dubai, Light Reading is joined by Huawei's Michael Spratt for an in-depth interview on customer experience management.
LRTV Custom TV
UBBS 2016 World Tour Highlight

5|31|16   |   02:43   |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016 in Dubai, Light Reading takes an exclusive look at the latest Huawei technology and the future of broadband.
LRTV Interviews
Getting Somewhere With TV Everywhere

5|31|16   |   7:08   |   (0) comments


Comcast's Vito Forlenza describes the progress his company is making with TV Everywhere and the challenges that remain.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for ...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
CenturyLink Targets 'Six Nines' Reliability
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/31/2016
West Coast Gets Its First 10-Gig City
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Please Pass the Waterproof Phone Click Here
Walruses: more tech-savvy than you might think.
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.