New AT&T 3.8 Billion investor seems to question DIRECTV and TW acquisitions.

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by grover517, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Yeah, I think this is the move that the hedge fund guy had in mind: spin-off everything that AT&T has acquired from DTV forward, along with some old stuff that no one much wants any more, like their old POTS landlines.

    But if I were a big AT&T shareholder, I would NOT want them turning around and undoing the Time Warner merger before it's even been given a chance to get fully integrated. That's crazy. Perhaps AT&T leadership has made some uncertain moves so far but it's WAY too early to say that it's a bad idea or will be a failure. And as you say, doing a 180 right now from merger to decoupling would just cause more chaos and upheaval.

    Maybe I'm foolishly optimistic but I feel like AT&T has been methodically putting chess pieces in place last year and this to have a strong game lined up for 2020. We'll see.

    Yeah, but you have a really big, diverse base for cross-promoting your products. There's certainly a case to made for saying that content/advertising on the one hand, and the pipes they flow through on the other, are better together than separate. Yes, they'll offer modest bundling discounts but some profit on a particular product is better than none, which is what they'd make if they never sold that product to a given customer in the first place. And data shows that the more product lines a customer takes, the stickier he is. Lowering churn is a big deal as we trend away from contracts and towards tech platforms that make it so easy to switch service providers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  2. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    How many subscribers would AT&T TV need to have to get good channel contract negotiations? They couldn’t have them when UVerseTV had 6 million subscribers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  3. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Good question. I dunno. Comcast has over 21 million TV subs. Charter has about 16 mil. DISH has just under 10 mil. Verizon has about 4.3 mil. Those are your top 4 outside of AT&T-owned systems. I think you need as many or more than DISH to qualify as a major player that gets good carriage rates.

    Beyond the carriage rates of the channels, though, I suspect that it might be even more important for an MVPD like AT&T to be able to force the channel owners to allow you to create skinnier channel packages. Cable network owners typically want to get as many of their channels as possible stuffed into the least expensive/most popular package. I think what we're seeing AT&T do as they structure the new Plus and Max packages is draw a hard line so that only the *really* popular channels get included there. That allows AT&T to price them lower.

    Note how AT&T struck a deal with Viacom this past spring, after they first introduced Plus and Max on DirecTV Now. How many Viacom channels got added to Plus? Only 6: Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, MTV, VH1 and BET. Those are pretty much their 6 most popular, highest-priority channels. And then Max got another 3: Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT. And what happened to Viacom's other "junk channels" like MTV2, MTV Live, MTV Classic, Logo, Nicktoons, TeenNick, BET Jams, etc? My guess is some of those channels won't be carried on AT&T TV and other AT&T-owned systems at all going forward, while some will appear as part of optional add-on Extra Packs.
     
  4. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    Another question how many customers would DTV need to have in order for AT&T to shut down DTV?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  5. James Long

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

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    As long as DTV is profitable it will not be shut down. I expect AT&T to sell DTV before it is shut down.
     
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  6. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Yup, D* has always been the best of a bad bunch of providers. The other provider I could use, Optimum by Altice, would be an adventure. Sure wouldn't save any money going that route.

    Rich
     
  7. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    I read a comment at another site that before AT&T bought DTV that DTV already had DTV Now In development because he was a Beta tester for it. I think they said that right after they bought DTV they were working on the streaming rights. I wonder if that really wasn’t true and the other reason they bought DTV in addition to having better channel negotiation costs AT&T saw DTV already had an OTT service it was working on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  8. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, people hate hate hate TV, internet and phone providers with a passion. Probably the only things people hate more are the DMV and politicians.
     
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  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Strong word "hate". I don't hate D*, if I did it wouldn't be in my home. I like my Internet provider and I certainly have no issues with Verizon for my phones. Too much hate in this world, too easy to do.

    Rich
     
  10. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    The DMV is a breeze compared to dealing with AT&T.
     
  11. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    I renew my license plate tags online it’s easy.

    Also AT&T online chat is pretty good I used that recently to order a Genie Mini and got it for free.
     
  12. Soccernut

    Soccernut AllStar

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    AT&T’s Time Warner Deal: Is Its Promise Faltering? - Market Realist

    This is the part I agree and find most interesting:
    The hedge fund urged AT&T to “undergo a strategic shift away from acquisition and toward execution.” Elliott Management also recommended that the company divests unnecessary assets like DIRECTV and its Mexican wireless operations.
     
  13. James Long

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

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    Define "unnecessary". Is it truly wise to divest profitable parts of the business? Is Elliott recommending keeping the floundering AT&T TV streaming operations?
     
  14. Soccernut

    Soccernut AllStar

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    I believe they are saying AT&T needs to concentrate on the "core plan" of internet based services, DIRECTV in their eyes is a unnecessary part of that core business.
    I believe that DIRECTV has a future under someone else that wants to keep the service going forward in a more serious way, than just think will keep bleeding the customer dry and just fade away.
     
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  15. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    AT&T's earnings call was kind of overshadowed being on the same afternoon as Apple's announcements, but the question was asked about asset sales in general and Directv specifically. Stephens said AT&T isn't interested in dealing with regulatory stuff that a sale to Dish would imply, and that they're happy with the entertainment group (basically Directv + TW) which is growing profit at 4% YoY in the first half of this year.

    The things he said they were potentially looking to sell are cellular towers (most cellular towers lease space to the carriers, so they'd sell the towers and lease back space and the new owners could also lease to Verizon etc. making everything more efficient) and the AT&T SportsNet RSNs. I think the sale price of the Fox RSNs and who they were sold to might make them think that they could get a good price from Sinclair or one of the other local station owner groups like Nexstar or Tribune.
     
  16. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Yeah, I think a sell-off of those four RSNs, probably to Sinclair, will definitely happen before long. Interesting comment from the CEO about not wanting to deal with a DTV sale to DISH because of the regulatory stuff. I guess they got their fill of dealing with the current DOJ during the Time Warner acquisition. That said, I'm not sure the regulatory climate for a DTV sale would be any better under a Democratic admin post-2020 if that comes to pass. Might be fine for them under a Pres. Biden but if it were Warren or Sanders, watch out.
     
  17. yosoyellobo

    yosoyellobo Icon

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    How does one goes about selling a fake news media?
     
  18. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I don’t know, is Fox News for sale?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  19. paranoia

    paranoia DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    No but CNN and MSNBC should be.
     
  20. techguy88

    techguy88 Active Member

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    Their corporate overloads will never part with their shiny toys.
     

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