AT&T Again Exploring a Deal For DirecTV—Update

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by CraigerM, May 20, 2020.

  1. Oct 7, 2020 #321 of 409
    DirectMan

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    Steveknj

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    compnurd likes this.
  3. Oct 7, 2020 #323 of 409
    compnurd

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    Really Really Really Really consider the source
     
  4. Oct 7, 2020 #324 of 409
    DirectMan

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    compnurd

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    Old News. They stopped offering select weeks ago and that article also references the Post which is a Tabloid paper
     
  6. Oct 7, 2020 #326 of 409
    mitchflorida

    mitchflorida Godfather

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    The story is accurate. If DirecTV is sold to a hedge fund in a leveraged buyout, prices will be raised further and more employees will be laid off. They have to do that so they can pay down the large loans used to acquire the company. It would probably be better if AT&T didn't sell to anyone but Dish.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  7. Oct 7, 2020 #327 of 409
    compnurd

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    The Post is a tabloid paper. So unless aliens are also living amongst us then I don’t believe anything they print
     
  8. Oct 7, 2020 #328 of 409
    bjdotson

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    watching the news everyday convinces me that aliens did arrive on this planet sometime in the last 50 years and infiltrated ALL walks of life.
     
  9. Oct 8, 2020 #329 of 409
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I'll give some credit to the NY Post for original reporting ... although they lose credit for having all anonymous sources. Often sites simply regurgitate what other sites have posted adding their own interpretation. That isn't news ... that is opinion (and speculation).

    If their sources are good it does illustrate what a bad idea it is to sell DIRECTV.
     
  10. Oct 8, 2020 #330 of 409
    Steveknj

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    While I agree with your premise, if they are bought by a hedge fund with a leveraged buyout, this is still just speculation which has been reported for weeks. The NY Post is not exactly a bastion of business news. They try and sensationalize everything to sell papers.
     
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  11. Oct 8, 2020 #331 of 409
    RAD

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    If DIRECTV is sold what will that do to the programming costs to AT&T for their TV service? IIRC one of the original justifications for the deal was to get the millions of subscriber numbers to all AT&T to get better pricing for programming then if they didn't have them.
     
  12. Chuck W

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    When I read articles about Directv and them dropping subs at an alarming rate, nobody seems to consider IMO the real reason why, beyond the "oh, they want Netflix and such". How about, people are tired of the bait and switch pricing where the 2nd year is a fortune compared to the first and they don't want to be locked into a 2yr deal? How about simply offering reasonable/competitive pricing where maybe lock people in for just a year, with no jack your rates while locked in?

    It's frustrating. I had Directv for 16 years and loved it until the prices just got too high. Even after my great startup deal with my cable company ended, I'm still just over $200 for most of their channels AND internet(200gbps) AND phone. The reason I came back looking was because Spectrum is slowly dropping channels or moving them to "x-tra" type paks that cost extra, while at the same time creeping up my bill. I was really disappointed to see them still doing the bait and switch type 2nd year pricing model and 2 year lock of many years ago. Even with the creep and channel loss, I am still well below what Directv would cost me overall. It the prices were even somewhat close, I would jump back quickly as I miss the quality picture of Directv(vs the poor Mpeg 2 motion pixelation of Spectrum).

    If the new buyers address this, it may be a somewhat profitable endeavor.
     
  13. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    This hypothetical makes a likely flawed assumption that most all of those who are jumping ship have recently passed their first anniversary. I expect that subscribers of all terms are dropping the service for reasons other than being too lazy to read the terms of the new subscriber offer. It isn't bait and switch if it is clearly stated in the terms (this wasn't always the case as evidenced by some hefty court fines sustained by DIRECTV)

    Anyone who entered into the new subscriber deal that assumed they could negotiate credits for the second year were either lied to or were suffering from a serious case of self-righteousness. Speaking of credits, the fact that they're much harder to come by regardless of tenure is surely among the primary causes of the departures.
     
  14. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    The NY Post has dropped another article about the AT&T "auction" of DIRECTV. Now they say that AT&T and/or DISH has received a warning shot across their bow from the DOJ that a merger still isn't an option.

    I predict that what's left of DIRECTV is eventually going to end up with DISH (since no other company has the synergies) so why drag it out? I can't imagine that delaying it is going to add measurable impetus to wireless service coverage expansion to make an appreciable difference.
     
  15. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. Here's the same info, different source:
    DOJ Wants DirecTV & Dish Merger To Wait: Sources

    I agree with you (and Charlie Ergen) that DTV and DISH will inevitably merge or combine operations at some point. But I can understand the DOJ's reluctance to sign off on it yet, as it would eliminate too much competition and probably result in higher TV prices for rural customers right now. Couple years from now may be different after a full rollout of Starlink plus more fixed wireless home internet from T-Mo, Verizon and AT&T.

    Sounds like AT&T doesn't want to wait that long to divest it, though. So DTV will probably end up in some sort of limbo status for awhile until it ultimately joins DISH in the DBS nursing home.
     
  16. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I'm not sure I buy this reasoning. I reason that DISH and DIRECTV both count a large majority of their customer bases in areas that already have alternatives and I really can't see them going to regional rate structuring whether separate or together (outside of DIRECTV's RSN fees that abuses everyone in a sports market equally whether metropolitan or rural).

    That the rural folk can't count YTTV, SlingTV and similar among them isn't something that the federal government should necessarily get involved in. I think the government should promote lifeline Internet access, but that's a different service level entirely.
     
  17. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    There's still a decent number of folks, mostly rural, whose only options for pay TV are DTV and DISH (and Orby, but it's not a full-fledged service). No cable provider at their address, or any kind of broadband, so therefore no access to OTT services either.
     
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  18. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    That's part of the deal when you're a rural resident: Some goods and services that are taken for granted in other locales may not be as cheap or as accessible while others may be cheaper and/or just down the road apiece. There are always trade-offs based on the life decisions that one makes -- it isn't an issue of justice or fairness. It is, after all, just TV.

    Given that each and every customer in a particular DBS TV market obviously carries the same cost of delivery, creating a special "because you don't have any alternatives" rate would surely be a non-starter.

    I challenge you to explain how delaying the logical conclusion in the DBS marketplace is going to actively promote rural Internet expansion or conversely, how allowing them to merge is necessarily going to impede expansion.
     
  19. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I do not see a merger as a required outcome. That is one of the biggest problems I have with those stirring this rumored plan - they want to separate DIRECTV from AT&T in some way but when they involve DISH they have crossed a line. The owners of DISH have zero desire to sell their satellite service - it is the core of their company. It would be like some venture capitalist buying Walmart retail to merge with a struggling chain and letting Walmart continue to run their manufacturing plants.

    The merger or non-merger of the satellite systems has no effect on rural Internet - the DOJ issue would be whether or not they consider the rural TV market important enough to protect from having only one satellite based carrier. Having better rural Internet would affect the decision to allow the satellite systems to merge - but the DOJ is not expecting rural Internet to improve based on the number of satellite companies available.

    At some point the market share for DBS will be low enough that the DOJ will not care if they merge or not. We are not at that point. The DOJ will look at the entire marketplace, not just the rural areas where a third option (non-satellite) either isn't available or doesn't compete. There are two thresholds that satisfy the DOJ - the first is the number of people affected. If only (random number) 5% of Americans would end up with no competing service then the deal doesn't hurt 95% of Americans. The second threshold is the number of people still served by the companies. The total number of satellite subscribers is still good today - but what happens when the total number of subscriber drops to (random number) 5 million satellite subscribers? The impact of the merger is weakened and DOJ cares less.

    Bottom line - Don't expect a merger soon. Even considering Mr Ergen suggesting that the companies will eventually be one he isn't suggesting that one will occur soon. And he certainly isn't looking to give up control of his company to some venture capitalist who will disappear in a few years. He's more interested in a fire sale where DISH remains in control.
     
  20. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Suffice it to say that, like the Highlanders, at some point there will be only one whether they get there through a merger or through attrition.
     

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