AT&T-DirecTV Becomes Largest Pay-TV Operator24 Jul, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Regulatory approval of AT&T’s acquisition of satellite operator DirecTV officially makes the two companies the largest pay-TV operators in the country, with more than 26 million subscribers. The joint venture also has more than 19 million customers in Latin America, including Mexico and the Caribbean.
With over-the-top video rapidly changing consumer attitudes toward the traditional pay-TV bundled channel offering, AT&T said the deal enables it to meet those challenges more effectively.
Combined with AT&T’s existing high-speed broadband network, at least 25.7 million households will have access to broadband speeds of 45Mbps or higher.
“We’ll now be able to meet consumers’ future entertainment preferences, whether they want traditional TV service with premier programming, their favorite content on a mobile device, or video streamed over the Internet to any screen,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement.
Indeed, AT&T is developing video offerings for consumers through, among other initiatives, its Otter Media joint venture with The Chernin Group. The joint venture was established to invest in, acquire and launch over-the-top video services.
This includes its purchase of a majority stake in Fullscreen, a global online media company that works with more than 50,000 content creators who engage 450 million subscribers and generate 4 billion monthly views.
The telecom will continue to deploy its all-fiber GigaPower Internet access service — the company’s highest-speed Internet service, which allows users to download a TV show in as little as three seconds. When the expansion is complete, AT&T’s all-fiber broadband footprint will reach more than 14 million customers.
Within AT&T’s 21-state U-verse footprint, it will offer discounted fixed broadband service to low-income households that qualify for the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In locations where it’s available, service with speeds of at least 10Mbps will be offered for $10 per month. Elsewhere, 5Mbps service will be offered for $10 per month or, in some locations, 3Mbps service will be offered for $5 per month.
While current customers of AT&T and DirecTV will continue to receive their same services and channel lineups, AT&T will launch new integrated TV, mobile and high-speed Internet offers targeting the evolving digital entertainment consumer.