The Future of DirecTV, DirecTV Now, Uverse TV & HBO (1 Viewer)

NashGuy

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The Weather Channel will want to be in the basic package
MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network will want to be in the same package as Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network.

Yes, the Weather Channel would want to be in a basic package. And back when they were a part of NBCUniversal, a company that owns lots of important networks, that would have happened. But since last year, TWC is solely owned by Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios, whose only other TV channel is something called Justice Central, which Uverse TV currently carries as part of their Family tier (and for which it appears AT&T pays nothing to carry the channel because it is 100% ad-supported). So in other words, TWC has basically no negotiating leverage. If Byron Allen is willing to give it away for free and just make money on ads, then sure, I could see AT&T TV including TWC in every package they offer. But if he actually wants carriage payment for it, then nah, AT&T TV will restrict it to an add-on Extra pack (or *maybe* the Max tier) in order to keep costs down for subscribers.

And while MLB Network, NBA TV and NHL Network might want to be in the Max package along with the RSNs, Big Ten Network and CBS Sports Network, they also don't have a lot of negotiating power since they're not part of large network groups (unlike Big Ten Network -- owned by Fox -- or CBS Sports Network). All three of those channels are already sold by Sling TV as part of their Sports Extra Pack. I expect AT&T TV to do the same.
 

NashGuy

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I'd like to add that beIN Sports is currently not carried by Directv, Uverse nor Directvnow.

Ah, good call on that. DTV used to carry it but then they dropped it. Who knows, maybe it'll come back on AT&T TV if they can arrive at a deal to include it in a Sports Extra Pack. Sling TV offers it in theirs. It's also offered by PS Vue and Fubo TV. Although, since neither Comcast nor YouTube TV carry it, that doesn't put much pressure on AT&T to offer it either.
 

NashGuy

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Cinemax Must Die

In looking at WarnerMedia's official announcement today of HBO Max, I noticed that the Cinemax brand was nowhere to be seen, either in their sizzle reel video or in the text of their press release. But didn't the WSJ recently report that HBO Max would include both HBO *and* Cinemax content, along with a lot of other stuff too? Meanwhile, I had been predicting before the WSJ report that if the rumored name of HBO Max turned out to be true, then surely the service would include Cinemax, given that Cinemax has been alternately known as "MAX" since TV Guide assigned it that three-letter abbreviation in their listings back in 1980 when the service debuted. HBO embraced the nickname, using it in derivative Cinemax brands, such as the Max Go mobile app and their MoreMax, 5-Star Max, OuterMax and MovieMax multiplex linear channels.

One thing I did notice in the press release, though, is a reference to new original exclusive content being made just for HBO Max as "Max Originals". OK, that won't be confusing.

"So the new Max Original series The Flight Attendant is on Cinemax, right?"
"No, it streams exclusively on HBO Max. It's not a Cinemax Original series like Jett, it's a Max Original series."

As someone who works in marketing communications, lemme tell ya, that's a branding mess.

But let's step back for a moment and think about Cinemax. If it does get absorbed into HBO Max, is there really any reason for Cinemax to continue on as a standalone service, or even a separate brand? Not really. It's always been HBO's less popular red-headed little sister. And even though Cinemax (and HBO) stopped carrying soft-core pornography over a year ago, the Cinemax brand is still tainted by its longstanding "Skinemax" connotation. More people probably know it for that stuff as opposed to the pulpy, testosterone-driven action/thriller originals it has focused on over the past few years like Banshee, Strike Back and Warrior. HBO Max will take pains to make consumers understand that it's a big broad service, focused on quality, but offering something from everyone, targeting all tastes, and all AGES, including KIDS. "Skinemax" and Sesame Street simply do not go together.

So Cinemax must die. All of its past original content (e.g. The Knick, Tales from the Tour Bus, C.B. Strike, etc.) will live on as part of the HBO Max on-demand library. Cinemax's current series like Jett and Warrior will continue on to new seasons, but simply rebranded as "Max Originals" rather than "Cinemax Originals".

What happens to the Cinemax linear channels on cable TV? All of them die, except for the original main Cinemax channel, which is simply rebranded as HBO Cinema. It joins a more compact HBO multiplex of channels, along with HBO, HBO Family, and HBO Latino. HBO Cinema will air theatrical Hollywood movies 24/7, all uncut and commercial-free, from Casablanca to Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz to Wonder Woman, Dirty Harry to Doctor Sleep.

Cinemax
born 1980 - died 2020
R.I.P.
 
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Pere845

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After reading all these post here's how I see things.
If you want traditional cable service go with Dish or your local cable company. What I'm getting from AT&T is that they are trying to kill off D* and uverse asap and go all in on streaming. I will also not be surprised if they only offer satellite to rural customers and will not allow installs in urban or Suburban settings in the distant future. I said it before and I will say it again AT&T only bought direct to get the rights to all those channels, they never cared about the satellite side of things and it shows with their antiquated equipment and lack of efforts to retain and gain subs. If you have regular DirecTV service I would really consider starting to explore other options because I don't see the satellite side being around much longer.
 

NashGuy

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After reading all these post here's how I see things.
If you want traditional cable service go with Dish or your local cable company. What I'm getting from AT&T is that they are trying to kill off D* and uverse asap and go all in on streaming. I will also not be surprised if they only offer satellite to rural customers and will not allow installs in urban or Suburban settings in the distant future. I said it before and I will say it again AT&T only bought direct to get the rights to all those channels, they never cared about the satellite side of things and it shows with their antiquated equipment and lack of efforts to retain and gain subs. If you have regular DirecTV service I would really consider starting to explore other options because I don't see the satellite side being around much longer.

Well, I kinda agree with you. I think your take is a little more drastic than reality, though. DTV satellite service will continue on for many years, although I do think it's quite possible that the ownership and/or operation of the service changes hands (most likely to DISH, if it happens at all). I don't think AT&T wants to necessarily kill off DTV but I think they understand that eventually, several years from now, all of us everywhere will be watching all of our video entertainment via some form of internet-based delivery, and mainly through apps.

And so I think AT&T's attitude is "OK, let's get on with the future, then!" So they're going to try to migrate as much of their DTV (and Uverse TV) user base as possible to AT&T TV or, failing that, just HBO Max in the next few years. (Remember, HBO Max will contain all of the video content that AT&T actually owns, so that's what they *really* care about. All of the other stuff in AT&T TV outside of HBO Max is just other companies' content.) So DTV satellite will get whittled down in the next few years to where it was eventually going to wind up anyway: serving only those (mainly rural) customers who don't have broadband access, plus a small segment of (mainly older) consumers who simply love and are devoted to satellite-based TV, for whatever reasons, and are willing to pay a premium for it even though they have other TV options available.
 
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NashGuy

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There will be 4 different Extra packs, priced $5-7 each, that optionally can be added to any of the three base packages. (Your first Extra pack is free if you have the Max base package.)

Discovery Extra Pack (featuring all of the channels owned by Discovery)
Discovery
HGTV
Food Network
Investigation Discovery
Animal Planet
OWN
TLC
Travel
Cooking
DIY
MotorTrend
Science
Discovery Family
Discovery Life
Destination America
American Heroes Channel
Great American Country

Sports Extra Pack
MLB Network
NBA TV
NHL Network
ESPN Goal Line
ESPN Bases Loaded
ESPN Buzzer Beater
ESPN Classic
Altitude Sports
beIN Sports
Tennis Channel
Stadium Plus 1
Outdoor Channel
Sportsman Channel
World Fishing Network
Ride TV
TVG

Entertainment Extra Pack
Sundance TV
We TV
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Hallmark Drama
AXS TV
HD Net Movies
MGM HD
Pop
Logo
MTV Live
MTV2
MTV Classic
Lifetime Movies
Reelz
TV One
Fusion
Game Show Network

Family Extra Pack
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Hallmark Drama
Nicktoons
Teen Nick
Game Show Network
RFD-TV
Cowboy Channel
FYI
Crime & Investigation
Baby First
UPtv
The Weather Channel
Outdoor Channel
World Fishing Network
Sportsman Channel
Ride TV

In thinking a bit more about the possible Extra Packs that might be offered on AT&T TV, I wonder if OWN might be included in the base Plus package rather than an Extra Pack. It's majority owned by Discovery but Oprah has a large minority stake too. And given that it mainly features scripted shows, I don't think OWN's content will be included in the upcoming $5/mo streaming service from Discovery and BBCNature, which will focus on unscripted lifestyle and knowledge-based content, relying mainly on the library of content from Discovery's various cable channels. If OWN doesn't get stuck in Plus, then perhaps it will be offered in more than one Extra Pack. In addition to the Discovery Extra Pack, I could see it going into the Entertainment Extra Pack and maybe the Family Extra Pack too.

Same sort of situation for Great American Country. Discovery owns it completely but its content surely won't play a role in Discovery's upcoming standalone service. So I think it could also be offered as part of the Family Extra Pack and maybe the Entertainment Extra Pack too.
 

CSM

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Well, I kinda agree with you. I think your take is a little more drastic than reality, though. DTV satellite service will continue on for many years, although I do think it's quite possible that the ownership and/or operation of the service changes hands (most likely to DISH, if it happens at all). I don't think AT&T wants to necessarily kill off DTV but I think they understand that eventually, several years from now, all of us everywhere will be watching all of our video entertainment via some form of internet-based delivery, and mainly through apps.

And so I think AT&T's attitude is "OK, let's get on with the future, then!" So they're going to try to migrate as much of their DTV (and Uverse TV) user base as possible to AT&T TV or, failing that, just HBO Max in the next few years. (Remember, HBO Max will contain all of the video content that AT&T actually owns, so that's what they *really* care about. All of the other stuff in AT&T TV outside of HBO Max is just other companies' content.) So DTV satellite will get whittled down in the next few years to where it was eventually going to wind up anyway: serving only those (mainly rural) customers who don't have broadband access, plus a small segment of (mainly older) consumers who simply love and are devoted to satellite-based TV, for whatever reasons, and are willing to pay a premium for it even though they have other TV options available.
I wonder if AT&T will want to eventually get it down to just having HBO Max as their only TV service? Then that way they don’t have to worry about channel contract negotiations. Their was a person in another form that thinks the days of channels and channel numbers are going away and TV viewing will just be mainly VOD, 24 hour news, live sports and events.
 

navychop

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Here’s an example. I live in Northern VA. Densely built up. Last night, my FiOS Internet went down. I am at home now, waiting for tech. No Internet, so no YouTube etc. But I’m watching Dish just fine, thank you.

I have cell data so I could watch YouTube on my phone. Not the same.

I see value in satellite, and for more reasons than this. Satellite outages are rare and last minutes. FiOS outages are also rare, but last hours or days.


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Scott Greczkowski

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Who says it was "supposed to be completed months ago"? It was always targeted for the end of 2019. They since pushed back the schedule because they had a few major customer types like oil rigs and aircraft that couldn't go all HD as quickly as Directv wanted and have ironclad contracts that basically require them to supply the service contracted for beyond that 2019 date.
No For commercial customers, they were requireing retailers upgrade them and repoint their dishes by a certain date (which has now passed.) And now that conversion has been put on hold.
 

slice1900

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I wonder if AT&T will want to eventually get it down to just having HBO Max as their only TV service? Then that way they don’t have to worry about channel contract negotiations. Their was a person in another form that thinks the days of channels and channel numbers are going away and TV viewing will just be mainly VOD, 24 hour news, live sports and events.

If Directv / AT&T TV became unprofitable, sure. But they are making billions every year off Directv, so they aren't going to be in any hurry to get rid of it.
 

slice1900

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No For commercial customers, they were requireing retailers upgrade them and repoint their dishes by a certain date (which has now passed.) And now that conversion has been put on hold.

Repoint their dishes? They weren't repointing anyone's dish! They were/are upgrading non Slimline dishes to Slimline. I've seen some of the internal documents for the transition, the original schedule was to have all MPEG2 SD duplicates gone by the end of this year, and they had a schedule of when MPEG2 locals would go away for each DMA starting in April (the first ones were actually dropped in March, but they haven't dropped any for a couple months now)

From what I was told by someone in the know, the holdup is due to specialty customers who had ironclad contracts for service going beyond 2019 so they were left with no choice but to push back that date (or face lawsuits I guess) Since they can't drop MPEG2 SD duplicates as quickly as they originally planned, they pushed back all the 'forced conversion' work since there's no point in aggressively scheduling forced commercial upgrades when the reason for them has been pushed back. Some of them will upgrade on their own in the meantime, meaning less work when they resume the forced upgrade schedule.
 

CSM

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Here’s an example. I live in Northern VA. Densely built up. Last night, my FiOS Internet went down. I am at home now, waiting for tech. No Internet, so no YouTube etc. But I’m watching Dish just fine, thank you.

I have cell data so I could watch YouTube on my phone. Not the same.

I see value in satellite, and for more reasons than this. Satellite outages are rare and last minutes. FiOS outages are also rare, but last hours or days.


Sent from my iPhone using SatelliteGuys App. For now.
Yeh, that the one bad thing about having everything on the internet, If that goes down you can’t watch TV or surf the Internet. Then the only to watch TV is to use the antenna. That’s why I wonder if AT&T would revamp their managed IPTV system so it could have the same DTV PQ and more than 6 HD streams. What about managed IPTV with the cloud DVR?
 
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NashGuy

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Here’s an example. I live in Northern VA. Densely built up. Last night, my FiOS Internet went down. I am at home now, waiting for tech. No Internet, so no YouTube etc. But I’m watching Dish just fine, thank you.

I have cell data so I could watch YouTube on my phone. Not the same.

I see value in satellite, and for more reasons than this. Satellite outages are rare and last minutes. FiOS outages are also rare, but last hours or days.

Yes, that's true. But if your power goes out, then you're really screwed (unless you have a generator). My point is that all delivery systems have their weak points. I've had exactly one broadband outage lasting more than part of a single day since I first got home broadband a couple decades ago. (Fortunately, I could watch free OTA TV on the big screen and YouTube, etc. on my cellular phone.) It can happen, sure, but I would personally rather have that reliability record than deal with the (usually brief) rain fade that I used to get every time it rained, with either DTV or DISH.

Anyway, as I say, there will remain a small number of folks (the types who like to hang out on this site, for instance) who for various reasons prefer DBS TV and they'll hold onto it until someone pries their rooftop dishes from their cold, dead hands. If I'm DISH or DTV, the great thing I see in those folks is that they are highly motivated to stick around as customers, so I don't need to worry about competing on price. I can do away with discounts and hike the regular everyday price and milk those guys! Same is true for those folks for whom DBS TV is their only option because they can't get broadband or traditional cable TV where they live. Only force keeping the prices of DISH and DTV in check for those customers is competition from each other. So how long do we think it'll be before those two businesses merge operations?
 

navychop

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Yes, I have a small generator. And an obscene number of UPSes. So I could watch for a while. Significant power outages are many years apart here. In 13 years, there’s only been two hours long power outages.


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NashGuy

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Yes, I have a small generator. And an obscene number of UPSes. So I could watch for a while. Significant power outages are many years apart here. In 13 years, there’s only been two hours long power outages.

Wow, that's great. Power outages have certainly been more common than that here in Middle TN. But I think that bad storms are maybe more common here than in N. VA? We're in tornado country. Although I guess you guys are affected by hurricanes sometimes...
 

navychop

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Not much nor often. Of course, my aspect may be jaded, being from New Orleans.

We are across from GMU and believe our area is on some sort of priority list.


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cditty

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I have a fiber poll at the end of my drive, but I can't get fiber from AT&T (Comcast only). When they stopped fiber at my house, I asked the workers why they were pausing and they told me (back then) that they were pausing that roll out until they could see if the merger went through. Well, we all know it did and they never came back to finish fiber. Honestly, they have great fiber plans with symetric up/down speeds. They finished wiring the MDU's and they all have 100x100, 1000x(unknown).

Does anyone know if this strategy will make them continue rolling out Internet. Comcast has had this town by the balls, since you are lucky if you can get 12 Meg DSL via AT&T. Some competition would be good. I use Dish for TV and Comcast for Internet.
 

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