Advanced Television

DirecTV on the brink?

March 10, 2020

By Chris Forrester

An unconfirmed report in the USA Today suggests that “DirecTV’s days are numbered” and that owner AT&T says that it is no longer actively marketing the DTH/DBS pay-TV and multichannel service.

Instead AT&T is focusing on its online pay-TV services.

The newspaper quotes John Stankey, the president of AT&T speaking at an investor conference, saying that DirecTV would still be offered in rural and less-dense suburban areas. “But in terms of our marketing muscle and our momentum in the market, it will be about software-driven pay-TV packages.”

Phillip Swann, a well-regarded market observer of the US pay-TV market, believes that when the current NFL exclusive DirecTV deal expires, AT&T will either sell DirecTV or shut it down.

Indeed, rival satellite pay-TV platform Dish Network, owned by Charlie Ergen, has himself intimated that a merger between his Dish Network and DirecTV is “inevitable”.

Swann says that a combined all-satellite service from DirecTV and Dish would have around 25 million subscribers and be a powerful force in the industry.

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