ATT TV - a little review

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

  1. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,810
    445
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Just as the new brand name, DIRECTV Stream, was chosen and trademarked last fall (a couple months before the transaction with TPG was announced), I would imagine that the top brass who will be running the new company were agreed upon by AT&T and TPG months ago and have already been formulating strategy and getting some things going even before the deal officially closes in the coming days/weeks.
     
    Steveknj likes this.
  2. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

    4,563
    950
    Apr 23, 2007
    Evans City PA
    Formulating Strategy Yes.. Changing Software No... hell it takes 4 months right now for a CE Cycle for the Genie They hosed the TV OS app a few months back and it took a month just to fix it back
     
  3. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,810
    445
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    A new feature can be added to existing software, tested and rolled out within a few months. And the team working on this stuff isn't changing. They're just shifting from being AT&T employees to DirecTV employees. Someone who claimed to be an AT&T employee on TheLayoff.com said awhile back (maybe in April) that those in AT&T's video unit were already having their corporate email addresses changed over from "@att.com" to "@directv.com".

    I tend to think things went this way: AT&T TV *finally* launched nationwide a couple years late, with little fanfare, just as the pandemic struck last March. By then, AT&T was already way more focused on the pending May launch of HBO Max. By the time they got that off the ground in the summer, the C-suite was already mulling over Wall Street calls to sell off DTV. They decided that they weren't that interested in cable TV any more and probably knew that AT&T TV might get drawn into any deal to divest DTV. So it just stayed on the backburner until its long-term fate was decided. That didn't materialize until the fall when they got deep into talks with TPG. Since then, they did change to a contract-free everyday pricing strategy but I suspect that most planned improvements (whether they were initially AT&T's or TPG's ideas) were being held back for the rebranding/relaunch.

    Question now is how much longer until that happens. If they've got live 4K ready to go, it might even happen next week in the lead up to the Olympics. If not, I'd say the likely window would be between the end of the Olympics (Aug. 8) and the start of NFL (Sept. 9).
     
  4. James Long

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

    52,605
    2,792
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    AT&T|DIRECTV reported 17.161 million subscribers at the end of 2020 and 15.885 million at the end of 1Q 2021. They claimed a net loss of 620 thousand subscribers. The 656 thousand AT&T Now subscribers were not "rolled in". They simply disappeared from the reporting. "Vaporized" is the word I used and it fits.

    And that surprises me. I assume they are still serving the former AT&T Now subscribers and still collecting their money. But they seem to be in a black hole.

    Thanks ... time to update my notes. There were 720k AT&T Now subscribers at the end of 2Q 2020. Gone or no longer counted ... just another way of not reporting the true state of the company.
     
  5. James Long

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

    52,605
    2,792
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    A interesting number in the subscriber report ... the "Gross Additions". I have not seen that number for since AT&T purchased DIRECTV.
    Net Additions (subscriber loss) -473,000
    Gross Additions (new subscribers) 492,000

    Which means AT&T|DIRECTV let 965,000 subscribers leave in the quarter and was able to to sign up 492,000 customers (slightly more than half of their loss).
    Gross Additions one year ago was slightly lower (481,000) but the net subscriber loss was 887,000. They let 1.368 million subscribers leave.

    Showing improvement.
     
  6. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    23,153
    487
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    It seems apparent that they don't have much control over customers leaving. The ugly part is now that AT&T TV is more or less attractive, they haven't been particularly successful at retaining customers that way either.

    As always, it is imperative to look at losses as a percentage of the remaining customers rather than comparing the losses numbers year-to-year.
     
  7. James Long

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

    52,605
    2,792
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    Nash took care of mentioning the 13% net subscriber loss over 12 months. 3% net loss in one quarter (if you are interested).

    There are seasonal swings to subscriptions and it is a standard to compare "this quarter" with the "same quarter" in the previous year.
     
  8. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,810
    445
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,810
    445
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    I guess those 2Q 2021 subscriber numbers will be the last set we see, right? Because the new DirecTV will almost certainly be in control by the end of 3Q, on Sept. 30. And since that company is an LLC, not a publicly traded corporation, my understanding is that they won't have to divulge that info.

    Also, it's interesting that AT&T released those 2Q numbers a bit early this time. They're typically always just reported as part of the quarterly earnings results, including the 1Q 21 numbers released on 4/22/21. But the 2Q earnings results won't come out until the call this coming Thur., 7/22. They quietly released the video subscriber numbers for 2Q in a regulatory filing yesterday, on 7/16.
     
  10. James Long

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

    52,605
    2,792
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    I am hoping that the ownership stake will keep AT&T reporting the health of their investment. The quick release of subscriber numbers (and churn for every quarter) was out of normal. Must be that "new normal" we keep hearing about.
     
  11. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

    4,563
    950
    Apr 23, 2007
    Evans City PA
  12. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    23,153
    487
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Other than acknowledging that DIRECTV DBS is the largest component of the new company (upwards of 85% of revenues?), the article wasn't speaking specifically to any of the services.

    I thought it odd that the article suggested that AT&T's future video play would be HBO Max given that it is also being spun off.

    I'd like to see a comparison of the FCC requirements placed on DIRECTV versus those in place on DISH's DBS operations.
     
  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,810
    445
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Yeah, I think when the deal was announced back in Feb., the talking point in the media was that AT&T would mainly focus on HBO Max for video, which made sense. But then, of course, AT&T made a deal in May to spin off Warner/HBO Max to Discovery. So basically the guy who wrote this recent story recycled a now-outdated talking point. It's not significant. AT&T won't be any more involved with HBO Max than they will be with DTV. It's expected that they'll continue to sell/bundle both products with their wireless and internet services.
     
  14. James Long

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

    52,605
    2,792
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    FCC approval is an important step toward the entire deal being completed. As stated often, it is a package deal. TPG is getting control of all "Video" - not just DIRECTV satellite and not everything but DIRECTV satellite.

    I believe you are confusing the article TheRatPatrol posted (from Multichannel News/Nexttv) with the one NashGuy posted (from Streaming Clarity). Streaming Clarity's had the issues noted. (Although the HBOMax spinoff will not close until next year experience has shown AT&T doesn't focus on parts of the business they are shedding.) One positive in the Streaming Clarity article is they actually linked a source:
    AT&T and TPG Capital Transaction Order
    "Grant the applications of AT&T Inc. and TPG Capital, for consent to the transfer of control of Commission licenses from AT&T to DIRECTV Entertainment Holdings. LLC."

    With the numbers released Friday and the FCC approval I expect a deal closing announcement within a week.
    I don't believe there are any other approvals pending.

    After closing the "TPG has been in control of DIRECTV Stream for xx hours and have not completely restructured the business" complaints can officially begin. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  15. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,810
    445
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was an official deal closing announcement this week, even tomorrow. Perhaps the reason that AT&T filed results for their video unit early is that it won't legally be part of the company by the time they have the regular quarterly earnings call this Thursday. (And/or it's simply because they want to focus on their core businesses during the call.)

    That said, I would think that when the deal is actually closed, it won't simply be a press release but also several public-facing actions happening too, for marketing reasons and maybe legal ones too. Like the renaming of AT&T TV to DIRECTV Stream and changes in the relevant websites, apps, etc. But you don't want to waste the media attention that comes with a product rebranding. If you've got substantive changes/improvements planned in the near term for the product, you want them to coincide with the rebrand. This is your opportunity to re-introduce yourself to the public.

    Beyond the few things that have popped up in the past few days -- live TV pause/rewind in the Roku and Apple TV apps, the ability to authenticate the Starz app, and possibly recording auto-extensions becoming more common -- we have no idea whether anything else is ready to go, such as support for 4K, the addition of new channels, or the second-gen box ready to ship out (or even currently sitting in store stockrooms).

    As I posted before, I think it would be a bad look for DTV Stream to make its debut this week if it can't deliver the Olympics in 4K, as DTV Sat and YouTube TV will do. Although I suppose it could happen anyway, with messaging that 4K is "coming soon". If getting PBS stations on board any time soon is possible, I'd think they'd want that to happen right at the relaunch too, at least in multiple major markets. Although, who knows, maybe YTTV made a deal to be the exclusive PBS streaming distributor for two years, which would be until Feb. 2022. If that's the case, it would be too long to hold up the rebranding. Also think that if they're going to be able to carry NFL Network by the time this season starts, they'll want to be able to communicate that at the relaunch.

    So while there are probably no further external approvals needed to close the deal, who knows if they've got all their ducks in a row internally to do the rebrand/relaunch that would likely coincide with the deal closure.
     
  16. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    1,810
    445
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    FWIW, here's chatter from TheLayoff.com. All three replies were made on 7/15.

    "Any news on the closing date of the DTV / TPG (Texas Pacific Group) deal?"

    "End of July."

    "Just ordered our new uniforms this week."

    "Soon."
     
  17. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

    1,806
    235
    Nov 14, 2006
    Just noticed another little tweak on my Osprey box (and it's entirely possible I missed it). Started watching something, got to the closing credits and just exited out of the recorded program. Came back in and before, in order to start at the beginning again, I had to fast forward to the end and it let me start over. Now, I have the option go resume or start over (which is how the HRxx boxes always worked). This was always a minor pet peeve of mine that seems to be fix.
     
    NashGuy likes this.
  18. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    23,153
    487
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    No confusion here. I was clearly referencing the post from TheRatPatrol (post 2191) since the link to the Multichannel News article is what compnurd was quoted in his post 2192.
     
  19. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,713
    183
    Sep 16, 2006
    Well, YouTubeTV charging $20 for 4K is a no-way for me. Any word on ATT TV (or whatever they are going to call it) adds the DirecTv (satellite) 4K channels to their streaming package?
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements