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AT&T Agrees to Purchase DirecTV (Was: ATT looking to buy Direct TV)


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#176 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:26 PM

Because of AT&T's track record. Those of us who have dealt with AT&T over the past 30 years know it's only a question of WHEN they lie to a customer or screw things up.

 

I've been an AT&T wireless customer since 2000, and haven't ever really had anything to complain about with them. I would have switched long ago if I did.

 

And like I said before, it isn't as though Directv has particularly good customer service or never screw things up. I can count on one hand the number of large companies I feel have top notch customer service, and neither AT&T nor Directv make that list.


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#177 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:27 PM

I will cancel DTV the moment this goes official, been a sub since 1996. I absolutely hate AT&T, it's one company  Anyone who has ever been a customer of theirs know how much of a nightmare they are.

Leaving out the "al queada" part, my feelings exactly 


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#178 OFFLINE   hrobbs

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:38 PM

I will be so out of here as soon as my commitment is complete, especially since Google Fiber may well be coming here.  

 

 

 

After 17 years with DTV, my Google Fiber install begins next month - $120/month for 1GB internet (rate guaranteed for 7 years) and a direct home connection at 1080P. Your move DTV, rather ATT. Will miss some sports, but very lucky to have Google Fiber in short sight.


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#179 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:51 PM

Directv isn't exactly well diversified, to put it mildly, and if things started turning sour for the satellite TV business in general Directv customers would be a lot better protected being part of a more diversified company like AT&T rather than having all their eggs in the satellite basket which could quickly become a downward spiral if the cord cutting movement goes from a trickle to a flood and cable/satellite starts bleeding customers. AT&T has their wireless and U-verse internet to fall back on if that happens, Directv and Dish have....nothing.


DirecTV would still not be diversified ... they would be OWNED. And if things go south for satellite the owners will dump DirecTV and move on. DirecTV is an investment ... which is a good thing - a company worth buying - but they have been bought and sold before by companies who owned DirecTV as an investment.
 
 

There has been some discussion about Dish eventually doing something useful with all the cellular bandwidth they own, but they'll have to invest billions putting up towers. With AT&T, Directv would immediately have access to that, without needing to put up a single tower. I don't really know what they could do with it, but presumably Charlie Ergen does since he's spent billions on. If/when someone figures that out, Directv goes from a much worse position than Dish to do it to a much better position than Dish overnight.


If DISH does it through their partners it will be a DISH offering. If AT&T does it through their network it will be an AT&T offering. Somehow it is easy to overlook the news even though it is clear in the thread title. AT&T is looking to buy DirecTV - not DirecTV buying AT&T, not merge, but be owned.

It will be a year before the purchase is complete (pending approval by the government) ... and then we will see if AT&T keeps the brand or rebrands as AT&T Satellite TV. The ego says there will be a rename. Personally I hope the DirecTV name will stay (it will make the satellite service easier to sell in a few years).

The deal seems to be good for AT&T - otherwise they would not be pursuing it. It seems to be good for DirecTV stockholders who will make money off of the sale to AT&T. Good for the customers is harder to promise.
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#180 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:51 PM

Would AT&T port Mediaroom software to all the DirecTV set tops / DVR's?  I mean having one platform to support is easier than multiple.  What about channels, would that mean a lot of new HD channels on DirecTV because there are more HD channels on U-Verse that already have contractual agreements?


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#181 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:31 PM

I see uverse name going away completely in five years if this happens. And they would make DIRECTV and AT&T synonymis with package bundling that cable companies do.

DIRECTV is a name that is great from a marketing point. Uverse is far to small for then to rename anything DIRECTV to uverse.

I also think anyone worried about jumping ship If att buys DIRECTV is worried over nothing for the foreseeable future. The companies just can't merge overnight and I'd see DIRECTV side taking over att call centers and such rather than the other way around for all kinda of back end reasons. Att would be much happier to become DIRECTV than the other way around.

But I think this is more about strategies for broadband and replacing copper phone subs than it is anything else and they'd likely run it as a separate company from the customer standpoint and the synergies would be on the back end when doing tv contracts and such.

#182 OFFLINE   mrro82

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:36 PM

Here's my concern: sports. AT&T doesn't even have Extra Innings. If they can't get that how would they keep Sunday Ticket?

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#183 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:38 PM

If DISH does it through their partners it will be a DISH offering. If AT&T does it through their network it will be an AT&T offering. Somehow it is easy to overlook the news even though it is clear in the thread title. AT&T is looking to buy DirecTV - not DirecTV buying AT&T, not merge, but be owned.

 

Yeah, Directv will be owned. So what? They've been owned more years than they've been independent, so it is nothing new. Not sure what difference that makes. If AT&T does something "through their network" that is offered to Directv customers, will be the same thing as Directv offering it today because as you point out, Directv will be owned by AT&T. Most customers don't care who owns a company they deal with. If AT&T runs Directv into the ground they'll be mad at Directv, not AT&T, unless AT&T changes Directv's name so the ownership is more obvious. How many people realize ESPN is owned by Disney? The average person watching ESPN probably has little idea, and wouldn't care one way or another if he found out.

 

Is it better that Dish is effectively owned by a single person, who has complete say about their direction and operation? Its great if he makes good decisions, not so great if he makes bad decisions. Same as how AT&T owning Directv could be good and could be bad depending on what decisions they make about running it.


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#184 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:44 PM

Yeah, Directv will be owned. So what? They've been owned more years than they've been independent, so it is nothing new. Not sure what difference that makes. If AT&T does something "through their network" that is offered to Directv customers, will be the same thing as Directv offering it today because as you point out, Directv will be owned by AT&T. Most customers don't care who owns a company they deal with. If AT&T runs Directv into the ground they'll be mad at Directv, not AT&T, unless AT&T changes Directv's name so the ownership is more obvious. How many people realize ESPN is owned by Disney? The average person watching ESPN probably has little idea, and wouldn't care one way or another if he found out.

 

Is it better that Dish is effectively owned by a single person, who has complete say about their direction and operation? Its great if he makes good decisions, not so great if he makes bad decisions. Same as how AT&T owning Directv could be good and could be bad depending on what decisions they make about running it.

I am not sure if I am "most customers" but I do choose the companies that I do business diligently


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#185 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:48 PM

If ATT finals on this, here is what I will do, immediately and with huge passion:

 

Wait,

 

and 

 

See. 

 

Let's all relax, and stop with the sabre rattling. 


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#186 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:50 PM

I am happy that you will seat and wait, it does not mean that others that chooses otherwise are in the wrong. to each his own


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#187 OFFLINE   nuspieds

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:53 PM

inkahauts, on 12 May 2014 - 7:31 PM, said:

I see uverse name going away completely in five years if this happens. And they would make DIRECTV and AT&T synonymis with package bundling that cable companies do.

DIRECTV is a name that is great from a marketing point. Uverse is far to small for then to rename anything DIRECTV to uverse.

I also think anyone worried about jumping ship If att buys DIRECTV is worried over nothing for the foreseeable future. The companies just can't merge overnight and I'd see DIRECTV side taking over att call centers and such rather than the other way around for all kinda of back end reasons. Att would be much happier to become DIRECTV than the other way around.

But I think this is more about strategies for broadband and replacing copper phone subs than it is anything else and they'd likely run it as a separate company from the customer standpoint and the synergies would be on the back end when doing tv contracts and such.

 

I agree the U-verse brand is definitely inferior to the DirecTV brand but no company buys another company and keeps that company running so independently as if they never purchased it.  There will be changes and we will see and feel them--good and bad.

 

My landline and cell phone services are provided by AT&T and I'm very happy with their services.  On the other hand, I'm not comfortable with AT&T operating my satellite TV service at all.  I'd be much more enthusiastic if DirecTV merged with Dish instead.

 

I do not see the satellite TV fit for AT&T whatsoever.  I'm sure they see it, but it's an experiment they're seeing--one that I do not see working well at all.



#188 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:04 PM

Yeah, Directv will be owned. So what?


So read the rest of my post. Owned can be sold when the owner wants to move on. As I pointed out and you agree, DirecTV has been owned before. And when ownership runs its course DirecTV can be sold again.


Is it better that Dish is effectively owned by a single person, who has complete say about their direction and operation? Its great if he makes good decisions, not so great if he makes bad decisions. Same as how AT&T owning Directv could be good and could be bad depending on what decisions they make about running it.


DISH is more than the one man ... but major difference should be noted. DISH owns. They did not get bought and sold by some company or investment group that thinks certain companies are good to be owned together ... they bought companies that they believed would strengthen the primary company. For better or for worse (a good topic for an appropriate thread) DISH owns SlingBox, DISH owns Blockbuster, DISH owns wireless licenses. The list goes on. DISH is the primary ... not some company under a bigger company or a profit first investment company.

I don't know how I can make the difference being owned and being the owner any clearer. If AT&T ends up owning DirecTV it will just be the next in a line of owners. A part of AT&T which can be just as easily sold or spun off. No guarantee of integration, better service or better prices.
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#189 OFFLINE   CraigerM

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:12 PM

If ATT buys DTV would it be because of one of these three things:

 

UVerse becomes DTV? - If this way does this mean ATT thinks UVerse TV sucks. ATT just keeps UVerse Internet and Phone bundles it with DTV?

 

DTV becomes UVerse?

 

Or they stay as two separate companies letting ATT expand and become bigger and reach more TV markets.



#190 OFFLINE   drx792

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:33 PM

What if U-Verse TV becomes "powered by DirecTV" or something like that. Perhaps the Genie platform can extend to U-Verse and they can have a unified user interface across devices. Then leave it up to the customer for which service they get. Bundling would probably get weird(sign up through DTV and get U-Verse internet/Phone, sign up through At&t and get all U-Verse)...but in the savings from bundling goes away after 6-12 months anyway.



#191 OFFLINE   mkdtv21

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:04 PM

The reason nothing changed with Directv when they were owned by other companies was because they were media companies. ATT is a service provider and that means there is greater chance ATT will modify and change Directv or possibly rebrand it. Media companies have no experience in being service providers but programming. ATT is all about offering types of services to consumers and would have the means to change Directv if they wanted to. I think the only thing good that will come of this if ATT buy's Directv is we will have better programming offerings since ATT is a bigger company with more money and will have better leverage to get more programming. Aside from sports ATT U-verse has way more channel choices than Directv.


Edited by mkdtv21, 12 May 2014 - 11:08 PM.


#192 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:45 PM

DISH is more than the one man ... but major difference should be noted. DISH owns. They did not get bought and sold by some company or investment group that thinks certain companies are good to be owned together ... they bought companies that they believed would strengthen the primary company. For better or for worse (a good topic for an appropriate thread) DISH owns SlingBox, DISH owns Blockbuster, DISH owns wireless licenses. The list goes on. DISH is the primary ... not some company under a bigger company or a profit first investment company.

I don't know how I can make the difference being owned and being the owner any clearer. If AT&T ends up owning DirecTV it will just be the next in a line of owners. A part of AT&T which can be just as easily sold or spun off. No guarantee of integration, better service or better prices.

 

Dish isn't owned precisely because it is all about that one man. He has sole discretion whether Dish is sold or remains independent forever. Since he holds a large majority of the voting stock, it is effectively the same as a privately held company, for better or worse.

 

Not all buyouts are a bad thing. Look at what became of Youtube after Google bought it, Disney buying Pixar or Apple buying NeXT (which probably ranks as the single most successful acquisition of all time)

 

Anyway, I never said there were any guarantees that anything would get better with AT&T owning Directv. All I said there was no guarantee it would automatically get worse, as some people seem to believe. Whether it can be sold again is immaterial, that is no different than the situation today where it may or may not be sold at any time (and likewise Dish, subject to the whim of that one man)

 

If the AT&T sale doesn't happen, Directv could be bought by someone else next year. What is the difference if someone buys it when it is publicly traded or buys it from AT&T?


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#193 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:52 PM

DIRECTV and att have more differences than dish and DIRECTV. Att merger will be a real merger of two very well entrenched companies trying to break into each other's wheel house. Dish would have been more like a absorption of the same idea.

#194 OFFLINE   prushing

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:02 AM

I hope that At&t would leave the hardware, software, etc to DTV. Have DTV also make boxes from Uverse and integrate everything. People who aren't able to get satellite can get Uverse as they do today. With any integration, someone is going to suffer though. Uverse can't support DTV quality though so I'm not sure how much they can integrate.

 

1 thing to think about is we don't know why At&t wants to buy DTV. Do they want access to their customers, hardware, software? Does DTV have something in the pipeline that they want?

 

The move makes sense, but we will have to wait on the details to see what will happen.



#195 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:41 AM

Anyway, I never said there were any guarantees that anything would get better with AT&T owning Directv. All I said there was no guarantee it would automatically get worse, as some people seem to believe.


In saying that it doesn't have to be worse you have presented an opinion that it could be better. This is the part of the thread where people disagree with you. You presented specific ways that DirecTV could be better off. The corollary is that DirecTV will be but a cog in AT&T's wheel. AT&T will probably be better off ... but there are few areas where DirecTV can improve. They are already doing pretty good.

DirecTV is not being purchased as a failing business that can be trimmed and turned around for a profit. Or as an upstart that could really grow if they received additional funding. They are a successful profitable mature business that will help fund AT&T's other endeavors.

I don't see ownership by AT&T as being the end of the world. But I don't see it as overwhelmingly positive.

 

If the AT&T sale doesn't happen, Directv could be bought by someone else next year. What is the difference if someone buys it when it is publicly traded or buys it from AT&T?


The difference is what happens to DirecTV in the interim. People who do not trust AT&T are concerned that AT&T may suck the life out of DirecTV. Perhaps $4 billion in profit each year ($18 per subscriber per month) won't be enough for AT&T and they will implement cost saving plans that negatively affect customer service or reduce discounts to make more profit. Perhaps they will introduce their own ideas on how receivers should work. As a company that already provides "cable" services they have their own preconceived notions on how to run such services. Are those ideas better than the current management of DirecTV? If the sale goes through we'll find out.

The status quo seems pretty good. Do you blame people who simply do not want to risk losing the service they have now?

Is any one else who has the money looking at DirecTV? This sale (if completed) will take a year to get through the regulatory process so one should not expect AT&T to sell to someone next year (unless they are buying it for a specific part of DirecTV then selling the carcass). The next sale would be years down the road when either DirecTV is no longer of value to AT&T or AT&T needs the money more than the annual income.

The concern people have is just how much damage a company like AT&T could do to DirecTV over the next few years. And while I agree with the "wait and see" approach (don't jump ship unless things actually go bad) I understand the concern.
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#196 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:52 AM

DIRECTV and att have more differences than dish and DIRECTV. Att merger will be a real merger of two very well entrenched companies trying to break into each other's wheel house.


I believe "merger" is optimistic. AT&T wants to buy DirecTV not partner with it. If and how they restructure their MVDS services after the purchase is a good question.
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#197 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 03:54 AM

I believe "merger" is optimistic. AT&T wants to buy DirecTV not partner with it. If and how they restructure their MVDS services after the purchase is a good question.


No it's a merger. That's my point they are complimentary companies. Not really true competitors that already offer the same services to everyone. They don't. This will expand both companies offerings. That's what a true merger is IMHO. Two companies who can combine to offer more than they each do individually.

Oh and att wants out if copper. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you see them dump copper and go all wireless and sat very quickly. Within five years or less. That's what would allow them to really profit from this merger.

#198 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 04:06 AM

CNBC report this morning states that AT&T and Directv are in active talks on a deal up to $50B, slightly below the $100 per share number rumored earlier.  ($95/share = $48B)  Andrew Ross Sorkin (CNBC Analyst) said he thinks this deal will actually be harder to get gov't approval than the Comcat-TW mash-up.


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#199 OFFLINE   damondlt

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 04:53 AM

James doesn't want this to happen for 2 reasons , Comcast / Time Warner
Directv/ ATT.

Dish network/ Nobody.
= The End for Dish.

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#200 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 05:16 AM

unless they are buying it for a specific part of DirecTV then selling the carcass

 

Other than breaking up the US and LA parts of the business, it is hard to imagine how Directv could be effectively split up. How else could they conceivably divvy it up? LifeShield and the Replay IP are a drop in the bucket compared to the ~ $50 billion acquisition price.

 

If AT&T was interested in acquiring a satellite company for a specific piece, Dish would make more sense. As you pointed out, they've been more acquisitive than Directv has been, and they hold a lot of juicy spectrum AT&T would love to get their hands on. Of course, that alone would probably put the kibosh on any possible Dish buyout, even if Ergen was willing as the FCC is trying to avoid further concentration of wireless spectrum among the big 2/big 4.


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