AT&T Is Betting On Premium TV Subscribers

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by CraigerM, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    AT&T Expects to Lose Over 1 Million TV Subscribers & Have More Blackouts in the 3rd Quarter of 2019 - Cord Cutters News

    The letter to shareholders went on to say that AT&T expected subscriber trends to improve due to far fewer customers on promotional pricing.

    “In 2020, AT&T expects premium TV subscriber trends to improve due to far fewer customers on promotional pricing and the nationwide launch of AT&T TV, which delivers a premium streaming experience. Other factors that may help improve Entertainment Group EBITDA beyond 2019 include: broadband growth due to increased fiber penetration and availability of higher speeds; a higher-quality video and broadband customer base with lower churn and higher ARPU; continued cost management; advertising growth from Xandr and less pressure from declining legacy products.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  2. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Bottom line is they will keep losing ‘premium’ subscribers... Well, actually they will keep losing even more than that as they come out with non-competitive products and not very good pricing in the streaming market space.

    I can’t help wondering what the heck they think the market will do. It isn’t going to sit on its hands while ATT thrashes around trying to come up with a product that is profitable and sustainable. So far their efforts have resulted in subscription losses across the board. Satellite, cable and streaming from ATT has suffered losses.


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  3. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    Where I'm at AT&T has 10/1 "broadband" service while a local company has 30/5 for the exact same $40 per month and Charter spectrum has 200/10 for $65.99 (going up to $69.99 next month). Every time I talk to a DirecTV CSR, which has been often lately, they keep wanting me to bundle AT&T internet with my DirecTV. Thanks but no thanks on going from 200/10 to 10/1. Doesn't seem like they are doing much fiber penetration in this area.
     
  4. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

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    So what is the strategy ...we are going to continue to try to squeeze even more money from subscribers who can’t or won’t jump ship? I’m honestly having a hard time seeing the value prop for the consumer in what they are doing. Sure, they will continue to squeeze revenue from those who have no other choice or still want their program model, but that is not a long term winning strategy IMO.
     
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  5. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

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    It is in a death spiral. Trying to claim that we only want premium subscribers is nonsense. Cash is cash. They will try and keep costs low by getting people on the IP product, no one is going to bite.

    They have lost 14% of their subscriber base in a year. That is nothing short of astounding.
     
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  6. SamC

    SamC Hall Of Fame

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    IMHO, "premium" TV is what DirecTV used to be. With exceptions so trivial as to be not worth mentioning, I made one call and got EVERY CHANNEL WORTH HAVING for one price from one service. More "blackout disputes" is the opposite of "premium" TV. If I wanted Dish Network, I would have called Dish Network.
     
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  7. crkeehn

    crkeehn Godfather

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    Google was our best friend in internet service. When they announced that they were moving into the Raleigh area, ATT sped up their expansion of their fiber service. As a result I was able to pick up U-verse 1000 for $70, including no data caps and a free modem. With Google expansion stalled before they got to our neighborhood, I'm grateful that ATT pushed their expansion.
     
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  8. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Once they get AT&T TV rolled out nationwide, with whatever the final packages and pricing will be, I think we'll see AT&T's total number of "premium" cable TV subscribers (currently DirecTV + Uverse TV; soon to be AT&T TV + DirecTV + Uverse TV) continue to decline but at a slower rate. There's a secular decline in cable TV subscribers that's affecting everyone, so there's no reason for AT&T, the nation's largest provider, to be immune to that. But I think their results will become more like the rest of the industry in 2020. This year has been absolutely atrocious for them.
     
  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    10/1, man, that stinks. AT&T was doing a big multi-year fiber-to-the-home push (a concession that they agreed to in order to get the DirecTV acquisition approved by the feds) that wrapped up this summer. During that push, last fall they converted my neighborhood from fiber-to-the-node ("AT&T Internet," formerly known as Uverse Internet) to fiber-to-the-home. Top speed available at my house went from 50 Mbps to 1 Gbps.

    At this point, I wonder if they're going to upgrade any more areas from fiber-to-the-node or basic DSL to fiber-to-the-home. I think they may be pretty much done now. I suspect the only additional fiber will be to supply 5G cells/towers, perhaps with some additional homes served from that where the incremental deployment cost is low.

    For addresses like yours that don't already have AT&T Fiber, my guess is that AT&T's eventual plan is to serve you through some form of wireless delivery, whether that's fixed 5G/4G (as Verizon has begun doing and T-Mobile will do next year) or their AirGig system (if it can be deployed cheaply enough). The old copper POTS system will likely just rot in place.
     
  10. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Well you said it yourself they were only doing the fiber built out they did because they agreed to it as a condition of buying Directv. Google has thrown in the towel on further Google Fiber expansion. Verizon has basically halted additional FIOS buildout. Centurylink stopped adding cities to their fiber footprint years ago (and never got anywhere near as far as Verizon and AT&T either)

    FTTH isn't going anywhere at this point because it is hard to justify the investment when it has to compete against DOCSIS 3.1 that can offer the same speeds (and can go to 10 Gbps symmetric, not that anyone will ever need that in their home)

    The places where you see fiber buildouts now are by small companies targeting places with older cable plants that haven't been upgraded for DOCSIS 3.x, or semi rural areas where a lot of the potential customers don't have broadband at all - often done by electric or telephone cooperatives. In many cases they'll require signing a multi-year contract so they can be sure they'll get their investment paid back. The rural telephone cooperative in a nearby city requires people sign up for five years to get fiber run to their house.
     
  11. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    There are serious profits to be made long-term for a fiber provider to roll out service in sufficiently dense urban and suburban areas where there's only one other serious high-speed broadband competitor available (i.e. the local cable company). As I've said before, the turn-off for corporations to do that is the up-front costs of deploying all that fiber. Gotta issue a lot of bonds and take on a lot of debt (or dilute your stock price by issuing more shares). Takes quite a while to recoup those costs. But then once they do, it's pretty much just gravy going forward. All-fiber networks are relatively inexpensive to operate and service. If you can get to about 50% penetration in an area, that's a pretty attractive scenario.

    Now, in a situation where there are already two competitors -- local cable, plus an existing fiber provider -- well, that's a significantly less attractive neighborhood for deploying your own new fiber network. That's the situation I'm in. I can get gigabit (1000/35) from Comcast or gigabit (1000/1000) from AT&T Fiber here. Google Fiber does have an ever-so-slowly expanding footprint in Nashville but I can't see why they'd ever spend the money to expand to my neighborhood when maybe 35% of homes passed is probably the best they could expect to ever sign up. (And they charge lower everyday prices than Comcast and AT&T too.) They're pretty much just wiring up high-rise condos and apartment buildings, along with a very few core urban neighborhoods.

    If a third option becomes available on my street, I imagine it will be fixed 5G/4G from either T-Mobile or Verizon, or possibly Starry or someone similar. But chances are good that another cost-competitive high-quality option never becomes available at my address. Which is OK, I guess. I'm just thankful to have some competition here and the ability to switch between Comcast and AT&T.
     
  12. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    The place I mentioned above that has 30/5 is a rural telephone coop said they are 'planning' on putting fiber in for 1 GB service. But they have been saying that for 5 years now and still haven't broken any ground.
     
  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    That's the kind of thing that our Universal Service Fund federal tax dollars should be helping with: rural non-profit co-ops that want to do actual fiber-to-the-home (as opposed to throwing money at for-profit companies that want to use the money to offer 35 Mbps wireless 4G). We should be offering no-interest, long-term loans to those co-ops so they can construct the network in a reasonable timeframe and start serving those folks.
     
  14. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    First review of AT&T TV is in, however he didn’t say what his internet speed is.

     
  15. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    Dial up? :D
     
  16. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Is this actually AT&T TV? Because when you change channels in that service (as well as in AT&T TV Now), you initially see a 1-2 second title screen for the channel/program while the live stream loads behind it. But I didn't see that at all in the video this guy posted.
     
  17. glrush

    glrush Cool Member/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    The other place that fiber seems to be growing is in cities that are developing their own municipal utility. Here in Eastern Iowa, Cedar Falls already has it and Vinton is doing a build out now. I got FTTH a couple years ago, and although they don't (yet) offer gigabit service, the connection I have (100/100) is rock solid and more than adequate for anything I want to stream. My ISP is thru a rural phone co-op.
     
  18. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    It makes perfect sense for cities to deploy their own fiber because they don't have to care if payback takes a long time. It can also be piggybacked on existing right of ways for water/sewer (some cities run the fiber through the sewer pipes, talk about shitty internet!) and used for automated meter reading.

    Of course cable/phone companies will always try to bury these efforts in legal battles as long as they can, and to make it political, so a lot of cities shy away to avoid courting controversy.
     

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