AT&T Exploring Part Ways With DirecTV?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by msglsmo, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    Yes, they will run out of fuel eventually. Believe it or not, launching a new satellite is A LOT cheaper then standing up a (NOTE: VIABLE) streaming service. Disney is spending 1 - 2 BILLION standing up Disney+. A satellite launch on the other hand is around $600M. Something like Philio that has a couple of hundred K users? Servers and bandwidth are very expensive and they aren't a one time cost. Electricity, bandwidth and maintenance are high recurring costs. As an example, my app at work runs on weak a$$ hardware in Azure cuz its just serving up XML. We aren't even using full VMs, but severless to cut costs. I've got ONE instance running right now and doing nothing because its still being stood up. That alone costs us $5000/month. Once we expand to 8 instances and get charged for bandwidth usage, it'll be considerably more. And we get a steep corporate discount from Microsoft. We also have our own legit on-prem data center and its not much cheaper there. Electricity, constant security patching, monitoring, etc. Monitoring software for our limited licenses is $100k/yr lol.
     
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  2. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    Now they're going to trade in satellites for 5G? Lmao... I'm not even convinced they'll switch to IP delivery for their main customer base. I can tell you in my high tech city, AT&T can't get more then 100Mbps to my 17 yr old house in 2019.

    And switching sat customers over to AT&T TV? Where do you get this stuff? They haven't moved any DirecTV customers to U-verse. In fact, they haven't even migrated all the customers over to AT&T *BILLING* and that's relatively trivial. They're going to do truck rolls and pay for boxes for 20M customers to move them over? Even not onboarding customers to Sat while they are still flying would be bad. How is everybody that lives in remote areas or areas not served by cable going to get TV?

    You should also try visiting your local neighborhood trailer park. Filled with dishes. As are RV parks, mobile homes, camp grounds, etc.
     
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  3. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    I absolutely believe that DTV's satellite fleet has a longer useable lifespan than satellite-based cable TV service can be profitably offered to American consumers. At some point there won't be enough takers for the single remaining satellite TV service (whether that's DTV or DISH or a combo of the two) for it to continue operating. I believe that point will arrive in the latter half of the 2020s. Some think the early 2030s. At any rate, after this summer's launch of the T16, the current DTV fleet will easily last long enough to continue offering service for as long as any company cares to offer it.

    The question, I think, is how long both DTV and DISH struggle on independently in the 2020s, fighting each other for a dwindling base of potential customers. Do they remain separate, waiting to see which of them bleeds out and dies first, leaving the weakened survivor able to scoop up all of their foe's stranded customers? Or does one of them decide that they'd be better off buying out the other one?

    If you're correct that DISH's fleet only has another 6 years of useable life left, that gives AT&T/DTV an important long-term advantage over them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    You misunderstood what I wrote. (Quelle surprise.) I was referring to DISH as moving from satellite TV to 5G. You may have heard a little news this summer about DISH being involved in the T-Mo/Sprint merger and what that means for DISH's future?

    Considering that AT&T TV needs only 8 Mbps per screen for its highest-quality HD stream, I'd say that 100 Mbps is more than enough, unless you planned on watching on more than 12 screens simultaneously.

    Where do I get this stuff? Um, having read multiple transcripts of AT&T's quarterly calls. Having read multiple articles in industry press. AT&T's current leadership outright said that the focus for DTV will shift to rural areas. They've said that AT&T TV will be their main "workhorse" going forward. They've said multiple times that due to the much lower customer acquisition costs for AT&T TV that they'll be able to offer it at moderately lower prices than they do satellite TV.

    It's like you just show up to these discussions as a clueless wonder who knows nothing about what's been going on at AT&T for the past two years...

    Here's how you move someone over from DTV (or any other TV service) to AT&T TV: the customer signs up online, or by phone, or in an AT&T store. They pick out their TV package and enter their credit card number. Then AT&T ships them their one free AT&T TV box via UPS, with instructions on how to connect it to their TV and their home wifi network. (It's no harder than setting up a Roku.) And that's it. Wow, a whopping cost of maybe $7 to express ship the box to the customer!

    If they have a rooftop dish and they want to get rid of it, that's on them. AT&T isn't sending a guy out to take it down.
     
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  5. SledgeHammer

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    Sure I have. Dish must build a 5G network that covers 20% of the U.S. population by 2022 and 70% by 2023. It will have to pay a $2.2 billion penalty to the U.S. Treasury if it can't reach its goal. Dish will also abandon its old plan to build a narrowband IoT network by 2020 if the T-Mobile-Sprint merger closes.

    20% coverage? 70% coverage? Awesome. That's a great way for you to achieve your goal of destroying the satellite industry :D.

    Btw, that's kind of doubtful since actual industry expectations are 32% by 2023.

    Serious question time now. Isn't 8Mbps pretty low?

    Weren't they also talking about moving everybody to U-verse when they bought DirecTV? They haven't done any of that and like I said are still working on merging the billing. I.e. don't believe everything you hear on a CC. And NO, before you ask, I'm not saying believe me over the T CEO. I'm saying believe what they've ACTUALLY done. It's pretty common practice for CEOs to spin BS on conference calls by the way. That's their job. To spin the earnings so the stock doesn't tank.

    And how much does it cost to actually BUILD the box?
     
  6. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    I mean he is now the CEO and not all cfo’s can make a good CEO. And this one really has not at all. I don’t have an issue with cfos in general or anything of that nature. I have a problem with cfos who don’t understand how customer service equates to numbers because they don’t have a way to quantify it so they don’t consider it as important as they should. (Or a lot of things that a business has to deal with that they can’t see because they don’t see how the ends justify the expensive because it’s not easy to equate the dollars and cents of it)

    Or in this guys case at all it seems.
     
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  7. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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  8. SledgeHammer

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    I just read an article where it mentioned that AT&T TV will have the same pricing structure as DirecTV. RSN fees, receiver fees, AND contracts, etc. Basically all the fees that people complain about. So why would anybody switch to it?


    To get back on track, AT&T is banking on its new AT&T TV streaming service, which is different from AT&T TV Now despite having a nearly identical name. Unlike AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV has two-year contracts, prices that rise automatically after a year, fees for activation and early termination of service, a Regional Sports Fee, and "certain other additional fees and charges."

    It's not clear to us why customers who ditched DirecTV or U-verse would be tempted by a streaming service that recreates the annoyances and pricing structure of traditional cable and satellite TV services
     
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  9. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    will they have NFL ticket as well?
     
  10. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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  11. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    If he owns 1%? Some basic math says that's about 73M shares? So... "hey guys, get rid of DirecTV or I flood the market with 73M shares and kill your stock" ;). Now granted, that's only 3x the daily volume, but there's more damage implied... he just has to say he's selling his stake on the open market and the shares will take a dump. Then he sells and it further takes a dump. Stop losses get taken out, etc. Selling begets selling. He doesn't have enough shares to tank it long term, but definitely short term.

    Besides, the CEO is retiring next year. Supposedly.
     
  12. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I don't want to accuse the guy of stock manipulation, but if the WashPo source that bumped up the price can be traced to him and he made any stock moves based on the knowledge that the story would be released it would make the actions shady. His ownership puts him in the position to damage AT&T ... but I believe AT&T would be damaged further if they actually followed his "advice".
     
  13. APB101

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  14. dreadlk

    dreadlk Hall Of Fame

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    A lot of rural folks have depended on either using DTV or Dish. These people do not typically have access to even medium speed internet good enough for streaming. The question I have is would the FCC allow a merger. I am sure rural customers will see this as a monopoly being created to suck them dry.
     
  15. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

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    It will be interesting to see if any of the projects like Starlink, OneWeb, or Project Kuiper will actually come to fruition and IF they will get them to work, be price competitive, and in a reasonably near time frame (big IFs for certain at this point). This just might be a disruptive technology that could change this picture dramatically not only for D and Dish but for all the local cable cos that are counting on their internet connections for their futures as more and more people turn to OTT providers for their TV viewing.
     
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  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Not only folks in the rural districts, folks like me actually need D* for stuff we can't get online. I don't want to see D* expire. Selfish of me, I get that.

    Rich
     
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  17. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Yep. Hopefully, if the government were to approve such a DTV+DISH merger, and rural dwellers still didn't have near-universal access to decent broadband, then the government would stipulate that the lone satellite TV provider must somehow keep prices in check for the next X number of years (perhaps tied to average industry price increases, or tied to whatever level of profit margins that DTV and DISH had generated pre-merger).

    But, as mjwagner says, this new breed of satellite broadband service could totally change things. Elon Musk's Starlink says they're on track to begin offering service across the southern part of the US (including outlying islands like USVI and Hawaii) by fall 2020. I presume the rest of the country would see coverage begin in 2021. He says he wants the service to be price-competitive. I don't think anyone will find it preferable to wired broadband from a cable/fiber provider but it should be a darn sight better than the options lots of rural American deal with now.

    If AT&T is smart, they'll try to ink a redistribution agreement with Starlink for AT&T TV. Let Starlink customers have the same $10 off bundling discount that AT&T Fiber customers get. And perhaps AT&T TV usage wouldn't count against Starlink's data caps. (Surely they'll have them, no?) Starlink could save bandwidth by using multicast streams for AT&T TV's most popular live viewing events like big sports. OTOH, maybe AT&T has something up their sleeve to try to provide home broadband to rural dwellers on a widespread basis, thereby competing with Starlink for that market segment...
     
  18. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Pretty much everything available on DTV is available on the new AT&T TV. It's still missing PBS and some random major network affiliates here and there, but they'll get that patched up. As far as national cable channels, I don't think AT&T TV is missing any of that, unless it's some of those add-on packs, like sports. At any rate, I expect that the channel packages/line-ups between the two will be fully harmonized in the coming months. They're going to make AT&T TV a full, direct replacement for DTV. Although I guess it remains to be seen what happens to NFL Sunday Ticket.
     
  19. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    This is the best, most thoughtful article I've seen on the question of AT&T selling DTV. I think it gets pretty much everything right.

    I agree with most of what the Barclays analyst quoted toward the end is saying too. Like him, I've said in the past several weeks that I could see DTV and DISH forming a joint venture to share back-end operational costs while maintaining separate consumer-facing satellite TV services. Such a move could be an end in itself or it could be a first step toward an eventual merger some years down the road, once AT&T no longer needs DTV (because they have succeeded in migrating the bulk of subscribers over to AT&T TV) and once the competitive landscape has changed enough to ensure that the federal government would have no problems with a merger.

    However, I disagree with the Barclays analyst's assessment that "the best move may be to throw in the towel on media all together." Yes, that may ultimately prove to be the case for AT&T but it's WAY, WAY too soon to think that. I know AT&T has gotten some bad press about turnover in the leadership at HBO, Turner, Warner Bros., etc. since the Time Warner acquisition happened but I think the jury is still very much out on whether the company will succeed with their new strategy built on HBO Max and, to a lesser extent, AT&T TV and Xandr targeted advertising. By the start of 2022, we should have a pretty good idea. But I can't see how many calls to sell off WarnerMedia or DTV make any sense until then, at least.
     
  20. lparsons21

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    So what’s ATT going to do when the streaming offers they have are found to be too fat and too costly? Everything I read about the various things they are throwing at the wall says they don’t have a clue.
    People are NOT looking for a cable/sat type setup of a lot of channels, high price point and commitments. They are looking for something that costs less with skinnier channel selection. Exactly what ATT is not offering or talking about.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
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