AT&T to offer streaming version of DirecTV

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Athlon646464, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    DIRECTV satellite does not have to offer their Movers Deal ... but a truck roll is worth the price of an extended commitment and retaining customers. (OrbyTV is sending Mastek installers out with dishes and cabling for $65 more than the same dish shipped for self install. Assuming DIRECTV's dishes are much more expensive to buy and install, DIRECTV is still getting a commitment for their investment. With enough of an ETF attached to cover the Movers Deal expense.)

    XFinity offers deals for movers - with the same caveats as DIRECTV and DISH (neither satellite company guarantees 100% free moves).
     
  2. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of options for how AT&T can get their money back for the truck roll required for satellite, so I think we could see different contract lengths for satellite and for the IP version of Directv. Or maybe a choice with satellite - if you want a free install you have to commit to 24 months, but if you pay for the install you can get a shorter commitment.
     
  3. tivofan2018

    tivofan2018 Member

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    dtv is really trying to push there streaming crap and that's what it is crap. now what about people out in the sticks that can only get sat internets or people that have data caps with there providers??? 5G is awsome but it wont be out fully for like another 5 years id'e say. then again 5G won't work for every one either.
     
  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Because some of us suspect that AT&T may want to spin off/sell off their satellite TV business in a few years and, before that time, transfer as many customers as possible over to their new platform(s).

    Beyond that, I think AT&T looks at the number of customers dumping DTV satellite each quarter -- numbers that are significantly worse, relatively speaking, than those reported by major cable TV/broadband providers like Comcast, Charter, Verizon, Cox, etc. -- and sees that they need to provide a more attractive TV platform for at least some of those satellite TV customers to willingly migrate to.
     
  5. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    The customers are the most valuable part of the satellite service. "Transferring customers" is more of catching people who are falling away. In about a month we'll get another update on how well that is going.
     
  6. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    If the satellite customers WANT to migrate to it that's fine. Though I question why you think it would be "more attractive". It is basically going to be the same service, just with different delivery. The only major difference is cloud DVR vs Genie. Probably you'll be able to save $15/month on that, which isn't nothing but the cloud DVR will no doubt have limitations vs having your own DVR.

    Like James says the customers are what makes it worth money - they are why it generates several billion dollars a year in profit. If most of those customers leave for the IP version and AT&T wants to sell the satellite business after there are so few customers it doesn't break even then its value will be zero. So what exactly would an expensive effort to convert satellite customers to IP accomplish if in the end they put Directv on the block and no one is willing to buy it?
     
  7. TDK1044

    TDK1044 Godfather

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    I've been with D* for 24 years, and I'll migrate to the new streamed service once I see a stable environment and a cloud based DVR working as it should. I'm thinking about a year from now.
     
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  8. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    The streaming Osprey-based service will be more attractive to many because of its lower pricing and its better/more modern set-top box. The Genie doesn't offer apps for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube or any of the many other popular sources of entertainment that constitute an increasing share of Americans' viewing hours (even among those who have a traditional cable TV package). The Genie also doesn't have a robust voice search and control feature like Google Assistant. And the Genie also sports a UI which looks increasingly like something from the past for folks who have gotten used to smartphones, Apple TVs, Rokus, etc. In all those regards, the Osprey will be more attractive.

    Now, OTOH, you may be right that this upcoming service's cloud DVR will in some ways be inferior to a traditional Genie DVR. If that's true, I expect it will be in terms of a lesser amount of storage space and whether there's an auto-expiration date on recordings. But I don't foresee there being any restrictions on playback of recordings. AT&T has branded the DirecTV Now cloud DVR as "True Cloud DVR" to underscore the idea that, unlike their competitors, they don't have rules about which cable channels can be recorded or whether or not you can FF through ads. In that way, it acts like a "true DVR".

    If, as I expect, this new service effectively replaces DTV Now (while also serving as a "premium-enough" platform for satellite and Uverse TV customers to migrate to), I would expect it to continue offering DTV Now's same 20-hour cloud DVR as part of the base price, with the option to expand storage for an additional fee. But if DTV Now is going to continue to exist and this new service is intended to be a direct replica of the satellite service, only delivered over the internet, then I would expect a capacious cloud DVR to be non-optionally included in the base price.

    Well, yeah, if there are fewer subs on DTV at some future point when its sold, then that business will sell for less money. But if AT&T had been successful at that point in migrating many subs over to a new platform with a longer-term future, then they would have increased their lifetime revenue per sub.

    I think AT&T understands that in the next few years, a TON of DTV subscribers -- those with options -- will continue to leave it anyway. So AT&T needs to try to migrate them over to one of their streaming products, either the upcoming "HBO Max" SVOD ($16-17) or the upcoming streaming cable TV service (which will have HBO Max built-in). The idea is "Let's cannibalize our own subscriber base before it gets further eaten up by all of our competitors, including Comcast, Charter, Verizon, Netflix, Disney and Amazon."
     
  9. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    I will believe that when I see it.
     
  10. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    The recent comments by the AT&T guy suggests there may not be any price difference. Who knows, maybe they will even exchange the $15 advanced receiver fee for a cloud DVR fee!

    Nothing stops Directv from using the same set top for satellite, and in fact I expect they will eventually do so. The only advantage it has over older clients is the streaming apps but people who are already streaming will already have some way to do so. It is nicer to have it all in one device but no one is going to switch from satellite to IP for that alone - such switching is much more likely if it costs less and Directv won't price match satellite.
     
  11. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I agree. So far there has been a hint of "slightly lower" but not drastically lower. I doubt that the difference in price will cover the difference in data usage when people realize that they need better Internet to stream all of their content. And the "slightly lower" could be canceled if AT&T doesn't offer the drastic $55-$60 off deals that they offer satellite customers.

    Retaining customers is a challenge. "Transferring customers" or "migrating customers" is not something AT&T can do. Customers not under contract are not the possession of AT&T! When customers leave (the correct term) AT&T|DIRECTV and sign up for DirecTV Now they become the worst kind of customer for AT&T - people without a commitment. Customers who could leave at the end of the month (and based on DirecTV Now's numbers, that is a BIG problem). It would be interesting to see how many of AT&T's customers were under commitment and how many could leave without penalty. The best AT&T can do is hope that their streaming service is attractive enough that people who leave AT&T|DIRECTV satellite will subscribe to their other services.

    Satellite customers are only possessions until the end of their commitment. Streaming customers are only committed until the end of the month. It doesn't take a genius to figure out which customers are most valuable. Sticky ones!
     
  12. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Well, to be honest, communication from AT&T leadership has been all over the place with regard to how the pricing will differ between the forthcoming streaming service and DTV satellite. Yes, the latest word is that it "could be slightly below satellite" pricing. But on the last quarterly earnings call (Apr. 24, 2019), AT&T's CEO stated the following (emphasis mine):

    And so, I think what you should expect is as we work through the year, we will continue to see declines in traditional TV subs, particularly those areas where we can't bundle with broadband, but as we get into the second half of the year, we roll out our thin client video product. There will be a much lower price product in the marketplace. What I think you'll see is subscriber losses should lessen as we get into 2020.
    So the CEO said the streaming service would offer a "much lower" price versus alternative products. And some months back (don't remember when or where), there were some actual hypothetical prices thrown out by AT&T bigwigs which seemed to indicate that the average price paid might be (IIRC) something like $25 less on the streaming product than on satellite. Is that "much lower"? I don't know. But it's fairly significant. The message we've always gotten, at least up until the latest comments by David Christopher (president of AT&T Mobility & Entertainment), is that the streaming service will cost appreciably less than satellite. Here's Christopher's recent quote:

    We think it will be a very attractive product, a premium product, but because the acquisition cost is less, we will have the wherewithal to make it a price point that could be slightly below satellite if we choose to.

    As far as those drastic $55-60 off deals that have historically been offered to satellite customers, I think that is coming to an end. Note that their only direct competitor, DISH, does not do that any more. And AT&T has spoken repeatedly about shedding those low ARPU DTV subs who get continual price breaks. So I think both DTV satellite and the new streaming service will have price structures that tend toward regular everyday pricing, but with the prices somewhat less on the streaming service.
     
  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    It also doesn't take a genius to realize that people with options are no longer tying themselves to an expensive TV service under a 2-year contract. Sure, that contract helps keep current DTV customers in the fold for awhile but it repels new ones from entering.
     
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  14. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    The key words in that quote are "if we choose to". And I don't think they will choose too. Myself, why would I switch from satellite to their IP service if the price is not significantly cheaper? Short answer...I won't.​
     
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  15. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the idea that they will have lower 'everyday' pricing in exchange for mostly doing away with discounting. Might be a good thing to slide in under new package names, so they don't HAVE to give discounts to people who aren't asking for them - but if/when they do they can say "we can switch you to this package which is very similar but costs less".
     
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  16. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Yes. Although I don't think the new packages will be "very similar" to the existing ones. I don't think we're going to see six new packages that are offered on both DTV satellite and the upcoming streaming service, with each new package closely approximating one of the existing six packages: Select, Entertainment, Choice, Xtra, Ultimate and Premier.

    Instead, I think we're going to see a smaller line-up of packages (i.e. fewer choices) that are a bit slimmed down, reorganized, and which benefit cost-wise from the latest round of carriage contracts with AT&T has struck with the cable network groups.

    But, yes, when existing DTV satellite subscribers call up and ask for a discount on their Choice package, they'll be given two options: stick with their Choice package at the regular price with no discount or switch over to the closest corresponding package among the new set of options that are offered to new customers. If they have home broadband, they'll be able to get that package overall for a little less by switching to the new streaming service. Or they can instead get that package on their current DTV satellite system and save a bit vs. what they currently pay for Choice (but maybe lose a few channels too).
     
  17. tivofan2018

    tivofan2018 Member

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    i would like to see a package to where i can pick and choose what i want to watch i don't need 300 home shopping networks lol. but we know what would happen with that idea the content providers would really crank up the rates or you would have to buy all of there channels!!!
     
  18. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    The shopping channels actually PAY cable/satellite providers to be carried. If they were removed your price would go UP! Same for the religious channels.

    There will never be a provider where you can pick and choose individual channels. Most people will want the most expensive channels, like their locals or sports channels, and aren't going to pick stuff that costs very little like MTV2 so if they priced it "per channel" you'd be paying so much per channel you couldn't save anything if you chose more than 10.

    Not to mention that networks don't sell channels individually like that, the providers' contracts won't allow them to sell ala carte.
     
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  19. tivofan2018

    tivofan2018 Member

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    i AGREE!!!
     
  20. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    When you write that it sounds like you're trying to call others dishonest. Not a good thing.
    "To be honest", DISH is notorious for NOT offering huge monthly discounts to their customers. $10-$20 off for new subscribers, a few months of premium services. Nothing major. Until recent years it has been an annoyance for DISH customers who reached the end of their commitment and found themselves without a discount. In recent years DISH has allowed customers to recommit and get a price lock - which has helped retain customers.

    And yet there is a thread full of loyal DIRECTV satellite customers who are willing to make a commitment for a discount. And several threads where DIRECTV customers are willing to make a commitment for new equipment. Is it your claim that none of those people had any options? If so, you probably should go back and read those threads.

    People with options ARE choosing to commit to DIRECTV.
     

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