ATT TV - a little review

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

  1. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    Comcast is pretty close lol
     
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  2. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

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    Exactly. And DirecTV still has some positive associations. It has for years been considered premium service, and using the name with streaming (and marketed correctly, not like the last time, which was just a total mess, and completely confusing). They should tie it more directly to the sat product. And if I was them, I'd also push for a SPORTS tier and market it heavily during sporting events. The one thing DirecTV has always been is the best place for sports. Maybe even work a deal with ESPN where you could get a year of ESPN+ when you sign up, something like that. If their goal is to phase out sat as their primary driver (and make it STILL available to those who need/want it), then they should be actively working a deal with the NFL too to at LEAST get NFL Network and Red Zone too.

    I'm really interested in what they plan to do. If they do it right, they can save DirecTV, if not as a sat company, but as a TV content provider.
     
  3. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    According to a TESS search on the USPTO website, the trademark that has been applied for is "DIRECTV Stream". It was filed with the USPTO back in October 2020 and published for opposition n April 13, 2021. There are no applications specifically referencing satellite.

    As with most DIRECTV trademark registrations the applicant is DIRECTV LLC California.

    All of the various logos are still active including the death star.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I don't think AT&T TV (or whatever it will soon be called) has to beat the other vMVPDs on price to win over DTV satellite customers looking for a cheaper option. They need to be close on price while offering a high-quality user experience that's comparable to or better than DTV satellite. AT&T TV having the same channel packages, a fairly traditional UI and feature set (more so than YTTV, Hulu Live, etc.), the option of using a dedicated box with voice remote similar to what you get with a Genie, and being offered by the same company the customer is already doing business with (New DirecTV) all go a long way, IMO, to making AT&T TV a natural transition for DTV satellite customers who's main beef with the service is that it costs too much. Sure, some will go to YTTV if it will save them another few bucks a month, but most shouldn't if New DirecTV makes it easy for them to switch. And, of course, if the customer cares about his local Bally Sports RSN, well, it's not available on any vMVPD but AT&T TV. (Furthermore all the other vMVPDs are missing popular cable channels from one or more group. YTTV lacks channels from Hallmark and A+E Networks; Fubo lacks channels from WarnerMedia; Hulu Live lacks channels from Hallmark and AMC Networks.)

    If you're on DTV and paying the current regular advertised price for the Choice "All-In" package that includes one HD DVR, plus you pay for a second receiver rental for another TV, your total bill (before taxes) is $139 ($122 + $10 RSN fee + $7 for 2nd receiver). If you get the Choice package on AT&T TV (under their everyday price no-contract system, which now appears to be the only way to sign up), and you add the $10 fee for unlimited cloud DVR, you pay $95 total (before taxes). Adding two AT&T TV boxes would increase the bill another $10/mo for 24 months but let's say New DirecTV threw those in for free to a post-contract satellite customer looking to switch. So -- assuming that you were paying the full regular price for satellite service and not getting some kind of loyalty credit or other negotiated discount -- your bill would drop by $44/mo, from $139 to $95, while keeping the same channels with whole-home DVR. That would cut your bill by nearly 1/3 and the transition should be pretty painless (especially if AT&T TV finally adds PBS and the missing CW locals).

    Again, I'm not saying that I think New DirecTV will actively advertise/push existing satellite subs to switch over to AT&T TV. It's possible but it's probably more likely that they just quietly phase out or reduce those loyalty discounts for post-contract customers, making them more profitable, and then only push AT&T TV hard when satellite customers call up to ask for discounts or to cancel.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. Which is why it would make sense for New DirecTV to rebrand AT&T TV to something else.
     
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  6. Steveknj

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    And I think it would be smart to offer a tier with limited to no sports (which drive up the price) similar to what the others do. And then offer a sports package for those (like me) who want it. Take away the RSNs and some other sports channels and puts them closer to where YTTV might be (and YTTV prices have been pretty consistently going up over the last couple of years. And I don't really think RSNs are in a position to argue that they need to be on a basic tier anymore (though they might try). One complaint we CONSTANTLY hear is "I don't watch sports, why should I pay for those channels?"

    With that, the new steaming DirecTV can sell this as the ultimate in streaming. More channels, higher quality picture and sound. A dedicated box for those who want it, and all the sports you want (for those who want it). Plus, I assume eventually 4K content as well.
     
  7. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    You'd think New DTV could work out a deal with the NFL to get NFL Network and/or Red Zone added to the Choice and above packages on both systems while also allowing them to sell (not give away) the streaming version of NFL Sunday Ticket to anyone on AT&T TV during these last two seasons on their contract ('21 and '22).

    There's already a streaming version of the NFL ST service with a dedicated app. Just pre-install the app on the AT&T TV streaming box, no need to even both integrating the service into the main UI. As it now stands, DTV can only sell the streaming version to folks who live in locations where satellite service can't be installed (e.g. certain MDUs, college dorms, etc.). But the NFL could obviously amend that rule to also allow it for anyone with an active AT&T TV subscription. If both sides got a decent cut of the revenue from those additional subscribers, why wouldn't it be in both sides' interest to do that?
     
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  8. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you look at the channel line-ups in their packages, that's basically what they're doing with the entry-level Entertainment package versus the step-up Choice package. Entertainment is as sports-free as you can get while still being a mainstream cable TV package, which obviously must include ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Can't have ABC without having also carrying ESPN and ESPN 2 in your base package, although Entertainment does manage to avoid also carrying the ESPN-owned SEC and ACC networks. Can't have Fox without also carrying FS1. Can't have NBC without also carrying NBCSN (which will go defunct this year anyhow, with those sports shifting to USA, NBC and Peacock). So the only sports-rich channels in Entertainment are the major broadcast nets plus ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, NBCSN/USA, and of course AT&T's own TBS and TNT.

    Step up to Choice ($15 more than Entertainment) and you get nearly all the other sports channels they offer: your local RSN(s), ACC Network, Big 10 Network, ESPNews, ESPN U, MLB Network, NBA TV, SEC Network, Tennis Channel, and TVG. (This would be the logical place to put NFL Network if they offered it.)

    Moving up to Ultimate ($10 more than Choice) only adds a few more sports channels: CBS Sports Network, FS2, Golf, NHL Network, Olympic Channel, and Sportsman Channel.

    Interesting to note that YTTV carries all of those sports channels above, except the various RSNs, Tennis Channel, TVG, NHL Network and Sportsman Channel, in their base package. TVG, along with NFL Red Zone and a few other things, are available in their $11/mo Sports Plus add-on pack.

    Of course, there are a few additional stray non-sports channels (e.g. Nick Jr., Game Show Network, OWN, Oxygen, FXM, etc.) that you also gain each time you step up to a higher package.

    Completely missing from AT&T TV is the Pac-12 Network, which is available on Fubo TV and Sling, but not YTTV or Hulu Live. And, of course, NFL Network and NFL Red Zone are both absent from AT&T TV.

    Who knows what's taking them so long to offer 4K HDR live sports. That should be a pretty easy feature for New DirecTV to add when they take the reigns, I would think.
     
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  9. Steveknj

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    DirecTV doesn't carry Pac-12 Network either (I know this all too well as my alma mater is a Pac-12 school.)
     
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  10. James Long

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

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    I believe they do. Nice thing about opinions, everyone can have one. The point was that inviting your subscribers to cancel their service isn't a good way to retain subscribers. "If DIRECTV satellite is too expensive you should cancel and use our streaming service." Too many customers will stop listening at cancel - and go somewhere else unless the offer is better than the competition.

    I agree that "better" could be defined as better PQ or more channels or something other than just having the lower price. But the lower price gets most people's attention so they listen to the other benefits.

    The NFL has guaranteed income from DIRECTV for their current deal. Unless New DIRECTV gives them more money I don't expect that deal to change. I don't expect DIRECTV to give the NFL any more money (especially since one of the clauses in the TPG deal is covering the LOSSES on the NFL Sunday Ticket deal).
     
  11. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    You're assuming that those customers are as well-versed in their available options as you and I, that those options have all the channels their household is already used to having in their given DTV channel package, that they're OK using a small streaming remote for cable TV, etc. Lots of folks will hear that they can lop nearly 1/3 off their bill, keep the same channels, gain some new features, and not have to switch providers, then take them up on the deal.

    That said, I do think that, especially when it comes to drawing in new AT&T TV customers who aren't already on DTV satellite or on AT&T Fiber/Internet, the pricing needs to be more competitive than what it is now, against vMVPDs as well as cablecos like Comcast and Charter. Again, the price doesn't have to be the same, but close. If Entertainment was $10 cheaper at $60/mo, with the optional $10 unlimited DVR upgrade, then IMO it would compare overall pretty well against YTTV, Hulu Live and Fubo TV's $65/mo starting packages.

    What I'm referring to is opening up NFL ST to a new set of customers -- those on AT&T TV -- completely outside of and in addition to the existing deal. All AT&T TV subs would have the option of paying full-price to get the streaming app-based version of NFL ST (same as folks who live in a location where DTV sat isn't available), with New DTV doing the billing and then splitting the revenue with the NFL. The NFL would have nothing to lose from such a deal, only some incremental revenue to gain. New DTV wouldn't really stand to lose anything either. The existing exclusivity of NFL ST is supposed to drive new business to DTV satellite. And assuming they continue to offer it for free to new subs, it will continue to do so. But they may be just as happy with a new customer choosing to sign up with AT&T TV instead and actually giving them some extra revenue for NFL ST.

    Yes, there are some longtime DTV satellite subs who remain with the service purely so they can buy NFL ST. Making it available on AT&T TV would encourage some of them to switch to it to save some money. And in that hypothetical case, AT&T would have to split the NFL ST revenue with the NFL, whereas on DTV, they get to keep 100% of the revenue because they've already paid a big sum to basically own it. But who knows how much value they'll assign to the marketing value of having NFL ST available on AT&T TV? Seems like such a deal is at least plausible, although I don't really expect it.
     
  12. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    I think this was discussed before but the current NFL contract does not allow them to open it up to ATT TV. They tried but the NFL wanted more money then they wanted to pay
     
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  13. James Long

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

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    And for that the NFL would want money. DIRECTV is already paying more than they want to for NFL Sunday Ticket. They have already had the opportunity to renegotiate the end of their contract and both DIRECTV and the NFL decided that their current deal was the best they could do. DIRECTV keeps their exclusive loss leader without paying any more money and the NFL still gets paid. If the NFL could get more money elsewhere they would have dumped DIRECTV and moved on ... and perhaps in two years they will be in a position to do so. Their next deal driven by the expectation that DIRECTV will not be in a position to continue to pay what they pay.

    It is interesting to see NFL Sunday Ticket go from a dealbreaker when AT&T bought DIRECTV (no Sunday Ticket, no deal) to a money pit that AT&T is agreeing to cover when TPG takes over DIRECTV.
     
  14. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Which, if you read both my posts above, was what I proposed. The NFL would get a cut of every subscription that came through AT&T TV, in addition to the already negotiated blanket payment they receive for everyone coming in via DTV satellite.

    At any rate, I suppose that AT&T has already tried to do something along these lines but they and the NFL couldn't come to a mutually acceptable deal.

    Will be interesting to see how New DTV markets NFL ST and the satellite service this fall versus the streaming service.
     
  15. Steveknj

    Steveknj Icon

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    That is key. In the new DirecTV, which service will they make more money per subscriber? If they make more money on the streaming service, than what you say makes sense. If they make more money on a sat customer, then why would you want to give them any incentive to switch? I think this is what DirecTV is trying to figure out. Sure it's better for them to be like me, moving from Sat to their own streaming, than it would be dropping sat and going to YTTV or Hulu Live, but it might be better for them overall for me to have stayed on Sat. Saving a few bucks is nice for the consumer, but might not work in the long run for the company. So the idea is to use ST as a way to bring in NEW subs, which worked for years for their sat service, but could it work if to bring them in for streaming? And if so, how much is that worth to them if the NFL wants more money to do so?
     
  16. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    You might think so, but all indications are that they didn't renegotiate the contract to make it happen.

    Some accounts claim that they didn't even try but the way AT&T was going through product names, maybe the NFL wasn't convinced that their streaming service was settled yet.
     
  17. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Unless there's at least a one year across the board commitment, it really doesn't make sense to offer AT&T TV/DIRECTV Stream subscribers the same kind of NFLST deal that DIRECTV subscribers get. Come-ons really cut into revenues if you don't know for certain that the subscriber is in it for a longer term. Couple that with the knowledge that NFLST has always been a loss leader and it becomes more of a sinkhole regardless of how it is delivered.
     
  18. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    While I do think the $60 price point for Entertainment would make it more attractive, I also think that the ‘free’ 20 hour DVR is ridiculously small and of little to no value. Up that to 50 hours and keep the $10 up charge for the Unlimited makes more sense to me. But with the Upcharge that would make it $70/month compared to YTTV and others but missing quite a few channels compared to them. Of course all the live streamers suffer a bit when it comes to the breadth of offerings IMO.
     
  19. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, good questions that are really impossible to answer without knowing the differences in the costs to acquire and provision service on satellite vs. streaming, as well as New DTV's long-term plans/hopes for the streaming service. We know it costs WAY more to acquire a new customer on satellite, due to the professional installation and equipment (plus the overall NFL ST contract costs), than it does on streaming. Which is why satellite has the 2-yr contract and higher prices while streaming has no contract and lower prices. But after what point in time would a new satellite customer vs. streaming customer, on the same package with the same number of TVs, have been equally profitable for the company? Is it at the end of the first two years, when the satellite contract is done? (Given current pricing for DTV, with the big first-year discount, you really don't pay much less to go with streaming. And if you would've actually paid full price for NFL ST, you come out much better to take satellite.) Or does it take longer, like three years? Given the higher regular pricing on satellite, at some point, those customers obviously become more profitable than someone on the cheaper streaming service, because they will have completely paid off all their higher acquisition costs. This is why DTV will sometimes give loyalty discounts to those customers -- at that point, they can afford to cut the price.

    The other question is whether New DTV finds a streaming customer to be more valuable because they believe that they'll stick with the service longer and/or because they plan to keep that service while selling off the satellite service in a couple years. I think every rational person involved has accepted that satellite TV is in long-term decline, even worse so than cable TV in general. And once DTV satellite loses its exclusive with NFL ST in about 20 months, there really will be very little to save it from becoming the higher priced of two pay TV options aimed at the dwindling number of mostly rural households who can't access broadband or any other type of pay TV besides satellite.

    Meanwhile, streaming cable TV services continue to grow. New DTV should aggressively strike deals with smaller broadband operators to sell DIRECTV Stream (or whatever it's called) as their preferred cable TV option. Lots of those operators are ready to dump their own TV service. DIRECTV Stream is a turnkey ready-to-go option that has all the popular channels and the option to use a traditional cable-like remote that grandma can understand. No Fire TV Stick required.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
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  20. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I agree. I wasn't proposing giving away NFL ST for free to new AT&T TV subs the way that it's given to new DTV satellite subs. It would be crazy to give away such a loss-leader to customers who aren't on a long-term contract! I was simply wondering about the option to *sell* it to those customers at its full price of $300 or whatever, the same way that it's already been available for purchase as a streaming service by those who live in a building where they can't install a DTV dish.
     

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