Delivering video to any screen is one of the ‘primacy objectives’ for AT&T in its proposed acquisition of DirecTV, a strategy that will run alongside AT&T’s pursuit of OTT services with U-verse, Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman and CEO, said discussing the company’s Q4 results.
“When we did this deal [for DirecTV] our customers are demanding video to be delivered across any device. So one of the primary objectives we will have coming out of the close of the deal is taking advantage of the [programming distribution] relationships that DirecTV has.”
Delivering video to mobile handsets and tablets will be a “high priority,” he said. “It’s going to be a multi-faceted approach in terms of how we bring video to our customers, but we’re looking at multiple channels and channel line-ups that we’d be able to accommodate into our wireless customers both tablet as well as handsets as well as our broadband customer base.”
Stephenson expressed confidence that AT&T and DirecTV would close their deal in the first half of 2015.
AT&T added video subscribers to the U-verse pile in the fourth quarter. It gained subs at a slower rate than it did a year earlier, but the numbers were offset by AT&T’s sale of its Connecticut wireline operations to Frontier Communications.
AT&T added 73,000 U-verse TV subs, extending that total to nearly 6 million (AT&T had about 197,000 U-verse subs in Connecticut). With the Frontier deal factored in, TV additions were down from an increase of 194,000 U-verse TV subs in the year-ago quarter.