ATT TV - a little review

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by lparsons21, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I bet their break even is at least double (possibly triple) the current AT&T TV subscriber count. I also believe that their costs/subscriber would be quite a bit higher if it weren't for the DBS portion of their business giving them some real purchasing power.
     
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  2. James Long

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

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    Satellite has "PI" channels (public interest) where a non-commercial channel can pay the cost of retransmission for carriage. Many of the channels in this category pay $0. The rates paid are filed with the FCC (I believe NASA is paying zero).
     
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  3. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yep. The total number of AT&T's "premium TV" subs across DTV, Uverse TV and AT&T TV at the end of Q1 2021 was 15.9 million. My best guess is that that figure breaks down at about 12 million for DTV, about 3.5 million for Uverse TV, and about 500k for AT&T TV (with AT&T TV Now having an additional 500k not included in the 15.9 million figure). Any of those could be off a few hundred thousand but I'd say I'm in the ballpark on all of them.
     
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  4. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    This means that the combination is 1 million between TV and TV Now?

    I bet it is higher but no where near enough to achieve Most Favored Nation status.
     
  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I think the last time we got a number for AT&T TV Now was end of Q3 20 and it was 683k and had lost 40% of subs over the previous year (largely due, I'd say, to price increases aimed at actually making it profitable). Then in Jan. of this year they stopped taking new subs under that brand, consolidating everything under the AT&T TV brand which began offering a no-contract option (and now seems to only offer that option). If it was down to 500k at the end of Q2 21 that would mean another 27% slide in subs over those 9 months. Seems pretty plausible.

    As for AT&T TV, it's harder to say, but I don't have any reason to believe that it's really taken off so far. It just hasn't been heavily advertised and the sort of consumer who seeks out and researches alternatives typically finds that YTTV is a better buy for them. Since it launched nationally right at the start of the pandemic, I'm sure it's mainly getting takers from new AT&T Fiber customers. I know Fiber added over 1 million new subs in 2020 but of course a lot of those -- 50%? -- didn't taken any MVPD service with it. And those who got it in Q1 mainly took Uverse TV or DTV if they took an MVPD. As I say, I may be off a few hundred thou. Maybe AT&T TV now has 1 million subs rather than just a half million. But I doubt it's more than that.
     
  6. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I may have mentioned here recently that I read someone on reddit post that AT&T TV was testing the ability to pause and rewind live TV in their Roku and iOS apps. Well, here's something just posted from a source I trust, reddit user preterist-seek:

    They just added live tv rewind to Roku so it seems they are not only re-establishing the DirecTV name but also addressing the feature set, which is encouraging. Another Roku user mentioned that they noticed sports recordings automatically extending so not to miss the end of games. I imagine these features (& perhaps others) will be coming to AppleTV, FireTV, etc...
    And here's a whole thread about it with confirmation from other users.

    So it does look like we're seeing them get ready to implement some improvements to the service in tandem with the pending rebrand.
     
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  7. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

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    I'll have to play with this a bit. I'm still hoping for a manual pad option. To me, that's a key feature that's missing.
     
  8. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I agree that a manual pad option should be available, even if it's somewhat buried in the UI for power-users. But *if* they fully and accurately implement auto-extensions for recordings (which is a big "if"), then manual padding becomes much less important and probably something that would be rarely used.
     
  9. James Long

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

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    656k at the end of year 2020. Then the AT&T Now subscribers vaporized.

    First Quarter results listed "Premium TV" subscribers only and completely ignored AT&T Now subscribers. Which means there are still some on the books just not being reported (which would be odd) or they migrated the count to the Premium TV column. I can't imaging not reporting 656k subscribers. For Premium TV AT&T lost 620k in 1Q 21 ... better than the 897k lost in 1Q 20. Not a good number,
     
  10. mklimek

    mklimek Cool Member

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    Nice! This previously missing feature set was the only reason I considered an Osprey. If this new management continues to make thoughtful changes here, I can see AT&T TV (soon to be Directv Stream) being really competitive. I'm rooting for them.
     
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  11. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    Yeh I don’t think management had anything to do with this lol
     
  12. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

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    Don't be so sure. If, as many of us are speculating, they want DirecTV Stream to be a streaming version of DirecTV Sat, then they would need to mimic DirecTV Sat as much as possible. Little things like this might be part of the strategy. Now, I won't discount that they might have been working on this pre-spinoff, but it's interesting that this sort of thing has happened now.
     
  13. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Isn't "folded in" a more accurate description of what happened?
     
  14. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong but my understanding is that they simply stopped reporting the subscriber count for the no-longer-offered AT&T TV Now service (same situation as AT&T Watch TV). If they did lump those ~600k subs under "Premium TV" for the Q1 21 count, that would mean that the main 3 (DTV + Uverse TV + AT&T TV) actually sustained a combined net loss of around 1.2 million that quarter (as opposed to the 620k reported), which would be a really bad number out of line with the trend over the past several quarters.

    BTW, the Q2 21 numbers were released today. Premium TV lost 473k subs in the quarter, down to 15.4 million. That's a 13% loss from a year ago, when the group had 17.7 million subs.
     
  15. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, being able to pause and rewind live TV in an app on your own Roku/Fire TV/Apple TV isn't a feature that DTV Sat offers. But it is something that all of DTV Stream's streaming competitors like YTTV offer.
     
  16. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

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    My point here being it IS offered on the DirecTV HRxx units. So in order to line AT&T TV up with traditional DirecTV, they would need to keep the feature set as close as possible or risk upsetting DirecTV users who have jumped (and obviously I mean jumped but are using their own hardware, not an Osprey box, which has supported the feature for awhile now). I suppose the motivation could be just to match the feature set to YTTV, but it's unclear that's what they are after, we simply don't know.
     
  17. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I can’t say I’m surprised that the numbers keep dropping. As the prices for live streamers keep rising it makes that less of an incentive to go to them, and the prices of cable/sat are already at high enough prices people are really looking for a better and cheaper way to watch TV.

    Live streamers with a lot of channels covering a wide range of interests are just too close in cost to cable/sat. These days the only way to save considerable money and still have tons to watch, is to drop live streamers completely IMO. Of course for those wanting lots of sports there is really no other way to get them than with a live streaming service or cable/sat.
     
  18. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    OK, but AT&T TV has offered that feature all along IF you used their box. Just as DTV has offered it IF you take their Genie DVR.

    At any rate, whether it's coincidental or planned, it does look like AT&T TV is ready to improve its feature set as it rebrands. DTV Stream will be compared to a lot of other options by consumers and the press -- not only DTV Sat and Uverse TV but also YTTV, Hulu Live, FuboTV and traditional cable TV from Comcast and Charter.
     
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  19. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anyone thinks that the overall subscriber count for cable TV packages will turn around and stop declining. But the kind of losses that AT&T has been sustaining for years now -- mainly in DTV Sat -- are simply out of line with the overall industry. They're significantly worse than other major operators except maybe DISH.

    Meanwhile, one industry research group projects that vMVPDs will grow their sub count by 10 million -- from 13.4 million at year-end 2020 to over 23 million by 2024. Over that same period, they see traditional MVPDs' total sub count dropping from 69.9 million to 53 million. That would mean a total decline in cable TV subs from 83.3 million to a little over 76 million, but with vMVPDs' share of the total growing from about 16% to 31%.

    U.S. vMVPD subscribers will total 23M by 2024: report
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
  20. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    Software updates like that are months in the making. This wasn’t a whim change by new management which hasn’t even been involved yet. ATT TV now is already the streaming version of Directv. Even the Directv webpage points you there as an option. Your wasting your time and breath though if you think every little feature and Physical DVR action is going to come to ATT TV
     

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