Is it me, or is DirecTV going down hill?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by tylorert, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. grover517

    grover517 AllStar

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    To me, it's not D* that is going down hill as much as it's AT&T sucking the lifeblood out of it. AT&T has absolutely NO business playing in the MVPD landscape. To me, AT&T is nothing more than an arrogant vulture capitalist company that bought D* for the sole purpose of tearing it down piece by piece while still profiting from D*'s brand as it does so and once it has sucked all it can from the brand, they will just sell off the remaining carcass if possible and if not, write what's left off as a loss. I am not saying there wouldn't still be customer attrition if AT&T hadn't come along but I think we can all agree that the current attrition numbers are exponentially higher than they would have been otherwise. Really sad to see what AT&T is doing to the company I admired for over 20 years.
     
  2. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    There's a old saying, "If it's not broke, don't fix it". Apparently the Mucky Mucks at AT&T never heard that because they've gone out of their way to fix DIRECTV.
     
  3. Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    New guy at AT&T:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. APB101

    APB101 Icon

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    There are two key reasons why I am still subscribed to AT&T’s DirecTV:

    1. My father, who is in his 80s, lives with me. He has never been into computers or anything related to complexities of the Internet—so he is Old School. This means, switching from linear cable-television subscription to at least one over-the-top service—as a replacement—is not compatible to my father’s needs. (He wants to watch television. Up-and-down the channels, in navigation, is about as complex as he gets.)

    2. While making a choice for a provider of linear cable-television service, I have the following to consider: AT&T’s DirecTV; Echostar’s Dish; Comcast’s xfinity; and WOW (Wide Open West). I pay the bill. So, I choose. And AT&T’s DirecTV, here in my area of Detroit, Michigan, has the most for linear channels of HD programmers. During the first half of the 2010s, it was slow with basic-cable programmers’ HD. Around 2013, it gradually built and became better and, now, is the best for me.

    There is one more reason:

    3. I am under contract. I had a HD DVR receiver, in the 20s series, which died in May. I went ahead and did the upgrade. I figured I would stay for at least two more years. That no competitor was in position to win me over. (Comcast, which my sibling has, is really behind on linear programmers’ HD. Examples: No HD of BBC World News, El Rey Network, TV Land, Pop, Sundance TV, Crime & Investigation, Reelz Channel, Ovation, American Heroes Channel, MTV2, Great American Country, Disney Junior, Nick Jr., FX Movie Channel, and a host of premium-movie multiscreens. And it has removed a number of programmers, like Fuse HD, Discovery Life, and MGM HD. The x1 is a very appealing system, yes, but that is not enough.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  5. APB101

    APB101 Icon

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    Streaming services, like with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, really caught on. And CBS All Access, and others, have changed the trajectory in favor of the movement from traditional linear to over-the-top service. The Emmy Awards are on Sunday. Lots of recognition for non-linear programmers.

    I remember when AT&T and DirecTV came to a purchase agreement. Wall Street said it was dumb of AT&T. That was in 2014. We are five years past that point. And many are feeling it.

    One thing that needs to get mentioned are the costs, per customer, for the programmers. The amount of programmers, for what they charge a provider of cable-television programming, per customer, is a lot. And you touched on some of that. But, what I am wondering is whether we are going to see a more swift movement to kill off excesses in numbers of individual channels. I think of the suite of multiscreens of premium-movie programmers. I think of the suites of screens from music-video programmers under the names of MTV, VH1, and BET. I think of the multiple screens that are under the umbrella of Discovery. As individuals, they add up. And, when negotiating carriage agreements, they want everything to be carried by providers of cable-television programming subscriptions.

    It is a lot to manage. Some of it is necessary—like the regional sports programmers which are specific to markets. But, as we get into the 2020s, and go deeper, and the trajectory continues to move further away from a traditional linear form, it would seem a lot of the excesses will become managed.
     
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  6. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member

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    I'm lucky I guess .... I haven't had any issues that weren't easily fixed with a call.

    ~Had a H25 incorrectly labeled as an old phased out unit that got removed from my account. I called and within 15 minutes was done and back in business.

    ~Needed to cancel some movie packages... easy 5-7 minutes.

    ~Needed to cancel NBA League Pass renewal.... took 10 minutes and ended up getting 50% off HBO without even asking
     
  7. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    That's a nice way to describe it. Seems like they made it as difficult as they could.

    Rich
     
  8. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    When it was being talked about I couldn't understand why it would happen. When it happened I still didn't understand why. To this day I think it was what Wall Street thought...dumb.

    Rich
     
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    You're still on the old D* account, Nick?

    Rich
     
  10. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Yeah, I do think we're going to see some of those 2nd- and 3rd-tier cable channels die off, with their best programming absorbed into their 1st-tier sister channels. At this point, I think it makes the most sense to think of channels as simply brands. And only the strong brands survive. For instance, Discovery is a strong brand. Discovery Life and Discovery Family are merely weak sub-brands and have no good reason to continue existing as more and more content consumption moves to on-demand.

    Another example, as you point out, are the premium services' multiplex channels. Keep an eye on HBO, which of course is now owned by AT&T. If you get the standard Plus or Max packages on AT&T TV Now, they automatically come with HBO. But you know which linear HBO channels you actually get? Only HBO, HBO Family and HBO Latino. Not HBO 2, HBO Signature, HBO Zone or HBO Comedy. Which makes sense, given that the three they're including are the most differentiated content-wise and demographic-target-wise. As HBO evolves into mainly an on-demand platform, what's the point of all those linear channels? What I think AT&T is telling us here is that most of those HBO linear channels will die before long. I predict the HBO Max app/service will include HBO, HBO Family and HBO Latino but none of the others.

    Slowly, we're moving to a point where all the cable channels that count belong to a few large corporate families: WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, Disney, ViacomCBS, Fox, Discovery. The only other ones, really, are little AMC Networks, A+E Networks, and Crown Media (Hallmark) and I can't see them surviving too much longer before getting snapped up by someone. ViacomCBS is the hungriest to scale up and could buy any or all of them. I think A+E Networks' History, A&E, FYI and Biography channels would make sense as part of Discovery's unscripted/lifestyle/knowledge brand of content.

    At any rate, just about everyone has or will have their own direct-to-consumer streaming service that primarily features the content from their linear channels. WarnerMedia has HBO Max. NBCUniversal has Peacock. Disney has a combo of Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+. ViacomCBS has a combo of CBS All Access, Showtime, and Pluto TV. Discovery will roll out their own streaming service next spring. That leaves just little Fox (which is now just the broadcast net, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network) without any plans for their own direct-to-consumer service. Which makes sense given that nearly all their content is geared toward live, not on-demand, viewing.

    Increasingly, their direct-to-consumer services will just cannibalize their linear channels. Warner has even said that new TNT and TBS series may debut first on HBO Max before airing on the linear channels. So all those underlying linear channels just became like pre-programmed auto-playlists for their associated direct-to-consumer streaming services' content pools. The names on those streaming services are the ultimate surviving brands.
     
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  11. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah surprisingly
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    You'll get transitioned one of these days and you'll see what the rest of us are talking about. Life gets a bit harder with ATT.

    Rich
     
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  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Someone on this forum a few weeks back posted that he'd spoken to someone at AT&T who said they were considering reversing the integration of DTV accounts into the main AT&T billing system! He said it was because of the negative response that DTV customers were having to the changeover. Who knows if there's any truth to that.

    I do wonder, though -- given all the talk in the media, and between AT&T leadership and Wall Street, about spinning off or selling DTV -- if that rumor isn't true. Or, at least, perhaps AT&T has put on hold any further integration of DTV accounts, such as sigma1914's, into the main AT&T system. Obviously, they can't spin out DTV from the rest of AT&T before dis-entangling those accounts in the billing system.

    Related Q: anyone know if AT&T is still providing ongoing (post-contract) multi-product bundling discounts for combining DTV with other AT&T services (such as AT&T Fiber) on the same bill? I saw one guy post that he was losing his discount but then that's just one guy so I don't know if it means anything.
     
  14. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Even if that were true AT&T would screw that up.
     
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  15. bobcnn

    bobcnn Mentor

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    25 year customer of Directv. Started in 1994, before it was even available in my market. Enjoyed it, and never thought I would ever cancel. I played customer service roulette every year to keep my bill under $100. Right now without any discounts my bill would be $160. I have the Xtra package, two TV's, and the distant locals which adds $14 a month, and MLB Extra innings, which I pay for in one lump sum in April, so that is not included in the $160 a month. I have been looking at over the top services, but I'm a big fan of Direct, but I was impressed by a couple of ott services. So when $60 in credits dropped off earlier this month, I called to see what they could do. Their had no offer, and only suggested that I reduce my package. Less channels to say $15 or so. So I told them to suspend my service the Monday, the day after the regular MLB season ends. And I signed up for a month of YouTube TV, very impressed by it, good quality picture, all the channels I usually watch, and a unlimited cloud DVR (not my favorite thing about the service, but it works), and I can retire my slingbox, since all the channels I can also watching on my computer, or mobile device. It works so well, next week I'm going to have them turn off my Directv service that Monday instead of suspending it. I'm guessing when I call to cancel they will make me an offer (but who knows these days), but the time to give me an offer was when I called in looking for a little help with my bill. So now I will be paying $50, instead of $160. I'm sure Youtube TV will increase prices in the future, but it will take a long time for them to get up to what I have been paying for Directv. I would have paid a bit more a month for Directv if they had gotten closer to the Youtube TV, but they didn't. It is hard to say good-by after 25 years, but I have to remember it is only TV, and Directv is not the same company I signed up with in 1994, or even 5 years ago.
     
  16. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    To summarize - AT&T has killed DirecTV.

    Once D* loses exclusivity to Sunday Ticket, this 1996-era customer is gone.
     
  17. Hdhead

    Hdhead Hall Of Fame

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    Your experience matches mine almost exactly, 24 year customer, loved the former Directv. My bill ballooned to $200+ over the years. A month ago decided enough was enough. Picked up YTTV, Philo and Netflix and BritBox for my wife all for no extra cost on 6 TVs with 6 cheap Roku devices. All for under $100 a month. No Brainer. Added benefit better PQ.
     
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  18. grover517

    grover517 AllStar

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    That was me, or at least I was one that posted that previously here.

    I filed a FCC complaint after dozens of calls to the overseas call center people, tech support and even retention with no one being able to give me a straight answer. I did so when AT&T took away the temporary service address change option as well as basically made it all but impossible to sign up for a new DNS account without first creating and paying for a new 2 year commitment, 2nd account and new receivers just for an RV with no guarantees of being approved for DNS in our RV or a way to follow up or communicate with whomever was now doing such approvals. AT&T deleted the RV section we all knew before and basically handed the process off to 3rd parties like Winegard and Solid Signal without giving them the tools or contacts within AT&T to either process the applications or track their status. Both companies told me that they have submitted hundreds of new applications and they all just fell into a black hole, never to be seen or heard of again and no way to follow up with AT&T. Whether that's still the case, I can't say but I haven't seen anything posted by anyone stating they successfully got DNS service thru D* since either.

    Got a call from a rep from the Office of the President about a week later. He first said that the reason the temporary service address changes were eliminated was because the AT&T billing system wasn't designed to do things like that and in their system, all such things are handled like a permanent move instead of a temporary relocation. I replied "So, your telling me that we are in a "square peg, round hole" situation where AT&T basically shoehorned a sat based service that was not only capable of such things as temporary moves but also now treated DNS approvals for RV's just like you would for a residence? His reply was a vague yes. He tried to skirt around actually saying "yes" but I got the point. He clearly did not understand how DNS works differently for the marine/RV/mobile accounts so I didn't push it further.

    The conversation continued and I asked him if I was the only one bringing up such things and I got an emphatic NO! Seems AT&T has had quite an uproar from the mobile/marine/RV community, including the FMCA and other major RV organizations over these changes and AT&T either woefully underestimated or completely overlooked how many "residential" customers moved receivers back and forth from home to boats, RV's, vacation homes, etc. and that there had been a LOT of talk about moving such customers back to the old D* system which could easily handle such changes. People that had D* for years along with DNS were losing it with no way to get it back simply because they made some changes to their accounts in the AT&T system which for a reason no one has been able to figure out yet that I am aware of, with the only way to fix it was closing the exisiting RV account and opening a new one along with a shiny new 2 year commitment and then I guess it took weeks of effort in the AT&T system to figure out how to even put DNS service back on those new accounts as well. Really was a mess from what I understand.

    The end result was that I came away from the call with two understandings. One, AT&T unknowingly jumped into account migrations with little to no idea what the end result would be for these types of customers and two, they were throwing things against the wall like considering moving some back to the old system to figure out how to stem the tide so to speak. But at the end of the day, I for one am not holding my breath that anything like moving people back will ever get any serious consideration no matter what the reason.

    On another related note, I was unlucky enough (while still with D*) where without any notice or forewarning, AT&T planned my account migration around the same time (actually ended up being the same day) I returned from our winter home and called to have my service address changed back before I was migrated to the AT&T system. From what I understand, my account transition was already underway to the AT&T system when my changes in the old system were entered and it really screwed things up. I got my locals back and service address was changed back correctly but 4 months later when I called to cancel, I was still being charged Florida taxes and fees instead of Michigan and they still hadn't figured out how to correct it. SMDH.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  19. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Since my DIRECTV account was converted to a myAT&T account I can no longer get access to my Protection Plan account. Any addition or deletions I wish to make I now have to do so via CSR.
     
  20. captaink5217

    captaink5217 Legend

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    What’s funny here is if you were to cut the cord as they say, by the time you subscribe to all the streaming services you need the cost of your internet you’re almost at the cost of a linear TV package anyway, and if your internet service has data caps and charges you for every so many GB over your cap then there is another cost.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019

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