AT&T Takes Page From DirecTV

11:50 AM -- AT&T has announced a three-screen strategy for the upcoming Masters golf tournament. They’ll offer interactive features including an up-to-date leaderboard and scorecards, on-demand content, and live coverage of multiple golf course holes.

Sounds eerily similar to what DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) has been doing with the Master’s tournament and other interactive sports packages for a few years now. In fact, DirectTV has taken the lead in premium sports packages and has done an excellent job in leveraging that lead for competitive advantage over telcoTV and cable providers.

It’s good to see AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) step up to this interactive sports plate. After all, it’s supposed to be IPTV that delivers all of these interactive TV applications, not DBS. IPTV by its very nature should be the most interactive. Its promise is to integrate the power of the Web with the TV, creating a better television experience.

To DirecTV’s credit, they’ve never let a technology platform dictate what they can and can’t do. Video providers of all types could learn a thing or two from them. AT&T just did.

— Bernardin Arnason, Managing Partner, Pivot Group , and Chairman, TelcoTV 2008

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