What will happen to Directv going forward

babnmn

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For your opinons :


DirecTV's days are numbered
Jefferson Graham
USA TODAY


Start saying goodbye to DirecTV.

It may not be today or tomorrow, but it could be soon. DirecTV-owner AT&T this week admitted that it is no longer actively marketing the service, which has seen subscribers fall to 16 million from 20 million when the company purchased it for $49 billion in 2015.

AT&T will continue selling DirecTV in "more rural or less dense suburban areas," John Shankey, the president of AT&T said at an investor conference. "But in terms of our marketing muscle and our momentum in the market, it will be about software-driven pay-TV packages."

Namely, the new AT&T TV, which opened nationally this week to poor reviews. "I'd recommend taking a pass," Edward C. Baig said in his USA TODAY review, due to high pricing, the need for equipment rental and a two-year contract. Plus add some key programming that is missing, like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and the NFL games that sports fans crave on DirecTV.

DIRECTV has been losing customers at an alarming rate.
DirecTV was initially launched in 1994 as a way for rural customers to get TV entertainment in areas not covered by cable but over the years also expanded to urban centers.

The pitch: By installing a small satellite dish on the roof or outside the home, customers could get more channels and a clearer signal, with a heavy emphasis on sports. Most notably, "NFL Sunday Ticket," offering "every live game" across the country in one place. The downside: two-year contracts and equipment rental.

Phillip Swann, who blogs as the "TV Answer Man" and has covered the DirecTV woes extensively, was stunned at the new AT&T offering.

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"This is everything people disliked about TV over the last 10 years," he says. "Two-year contracts, escalating prices and equipment to rent. If this was 10 years ago, maybe AT&T TV would have a shot. But not now."

The ease of streaming alternatives, of smart TVs that connect to the Internet to bring in apps like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, or cheap streaming players like the Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick, which sell for around $25, make the need for equipment rental a thing of the past.

Indeed, AT&T has its sights set on the streaming market, pouring marketing muscle behind the new HBO Max service launching in May. It will sell for $14.99 monthly, and include originals and reruns of shows like "Friends" and "The Big Bang Theory."

Swann believes that when the NFL deal expires in two years, AT&T will either sell DirecTV or shut it down. One ready buyer has already expressed interest, the Dish Network. Owner Charlie Ergen said a merger was "inevitable" on a recent earnings call.

Merging the two services won't stem the tide of cord-cutting, which has hurt satellite companies more severely than cable. All told, some 6 million customers ditched satellite and cable in 2019, according to Wall Street analyst firm MoffettNathanson.

Dish lost 100,000 subscribers in the most recent quarter, compared to 1.1 million from DirecTV. Dish currently has 9 million subscribers, plus 2.5 million to the streaming cable alternative service Sling TV. AT&T also has a streaming service, AT&T Now (formerly known as DirecTV Now), which has just under 1 million subscribers.

Swann believes that together, Dish and DirectTV, with over 25 million subscribers would still be a force that could continue for several more years.

Sling TV offers various packages, all of which will stream the Oscars.
Meanwhile, what are consumers to do?

DirecTV still stands. And if you have it now and are in a contract, it will cost you money to exit, so stay put.

If you're out of contract, live in a rural area and are considering satellite service, Dish is a cheaper alternative. It starts at $59.99 monthly for service on two TVs, compared to DirecTV starting at $49.99, but is missing ESPN and other sports channels, Discovery and cooking channels. To get those and NFL Sunday Ticket, you pay $66.99 monthly, but only for the first year. It bumps up to $122.99 monthly for the second year of the contract.

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Dish Network's $59.99 package doesn't go up in second year and includes ESPN, Discovery and HGTV, missing on the entry-level DirecTV package.

If you can live without the sports packages, try an antenna. They've become way more powerful than they used to be, with built-in tuners. Mohu, which makes the popular Leaf antenna, says it picks up signals as far away as 50 miles from the broadcast towers.

You won't get the cable networks, but you will pick up the broadcast channels.

YouTube TV comes with ABC.
YouTube TV ($49.99), Hulu with Live TV ($55) and Sling TV ($30) are streaming cable alternatives that come with no equipment rental. But you'll need to live in an area with a good internet signal for them to work effectively.

Sports could be a big issue. YouTube TV recently said it would drop programming from the YES Network (which includes the New York Yankees) and Fox Sports regional channels but ended up cutting a deal for them to remain – almost.

YES Network is still dumped, but YouTube ended up holding onto 19 of the 21 regional networks. But missing in action will be such high profile teams as the L.A. Clippers, Kings and Angels.

Where can you still see them? Hulu with Live TV and, ironically, AT&T's streaming service AT&T Now, which carries the games while AT&T TV does not.
 

Tampa8

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There are people in denial about DTV ending, many others like myself had no problem seeing it, the question was what kind of time frame. AT&T has not been cryptic about DTV having an end life, they have expressed it really since taking it over.
I think we are entering the time where At&t is finalizing that exit of the service and letting it get out there. I posted quite sometime ago in a thread (not sure if here or in the DISH forum possibly AVS) that DTV was going to start to only do subscriptions in rural areas and start to get out of more densely populated ones with good internet service. That was based, once again on things At&t themselves were saying. I don't think two years or so is too soon to say they could be ending. I'm not certain At&t will even be a force in internet service, but rather in the Fixed Wireless service.
They are putting up towers for emergency services uses, with a contract to do it virtually wherever it is needed and that includes taking or using land as needed by Government mandate. Nothing prevents and in fact At&t is using 5G expansion as part of it. It will give them a good starting point for Fixed Wireless service that does require many broadcasting towers to reach into the home. But I think that is what At&t will concentrate on.
 
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Jimbo

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There are people in denial about DTV ending, many others like myself had no problem seeing it, the question was what kind of time frame. AT&T has not been cryptic about DTV having an end life, they have expressed it really since taking it over.
I think we are entering the time where At&t is finalizing that exit of the service and letting it get out there. I posted quite sometime ago in a thread (not sure if here or in the DISH forum possibly AVS) that DTV was going to start to only do subscriptions in rural areas and start to get out of more densely populated ones with good internet service. That was based, once again on things At&t themselves were saying. I don't think two years or so is too soon to say they could be ending. I'm not certain At&t will even be a force in internet service, but rather in the Fixed Wireless service.
They are putting up towers for emergency services uses, with a contract to do it virtually wherever it is needed and that includes taking or using land as needed by Government mandate. Nothing prevents and in fact At&t is using 5G expansion as part of it. It will give them a good starting point for Fixed Wireless service that does require many broadcasting towers to reach into the home. But I think that is what At&t will concentrate on.
D* is NO WAY ending in 2 years like speculated by the swami himself.

They may Sell it and move on from it, but thats not happening anytime soon either ...
Look how long it took to Buy it, they ain't selling it over night.

If you haven't noticed, ATT is into a ton of different projects, I really wish they would narrow down thier field to a few things and do them well, instead of 100 things that they do OK with, but don't excel in any.
 

Tampa8

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D* is NO WAY ending in 2 years like speculated by the swami himself.

They may Sell it and move on from it, but thats not happening anytime soon either ...
Look how long it took to Buy it, they ain't selling it over night.
We can certainly talk about how long since none of us have that exact information. But I do disagree that how long it took to buy it has anything to do with how fast they sell it or start to stop servicing it if there are no buyers.
I have long had a scenario that if DISH is not in a position or does not want to get involved (And I am not certain it would benefit them, only the subscribers would) that DTV could be parceled out including their satellites to smaller companies that could use the equipment rather then try to sell the whole company. Could be for smaller start-ups etc.
Don't underestimate what the shareholders and those with the larger investments want, and not so much what we think or want. If they feel DTV will not perform then cutting future losses will become an option. At&t investors generally now want wireless communication that they feel is the future. If continuing the service is better financially they would be more motivated to keep it going but will they spend to keep it up and to pay long term expensive programming contracts? Again their President has stated more than once the future is wireless.
 
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Jimbo

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We can certainly talk about how long since none of us have that exact information. But I do disagree that how long it took to buy it has anything to do with how fast they sell it or start to stop servicing it if there are no buyers.
I have long had a scenario that if DISH is not in a position or does not want to get involved (And I am not certain it would benefit them, only the subscribers would) that DTV could be parceled out including their satellites to smaller companies that could use the equipment rather then try to sell the whole company. Could be for smaller start-ups etc.
Don't underestimate what the shareholders and those with the larger investments want, and not so much what we think or want. If they feel DTV will not perform then cutting future losses will become an option. At&t investors generally now want wireless communication that they feel is the future. If continuing the service is better financially they would be more motivated to keep it going but will they spend to keep it up and to pay long term expensive programming contracts? Again their President has stated more than once the future is wireless.
I agree that the future is wireless, but that doesn't mean they will up and quit everything else ...
They Bouhgt it, whats it been, 5 years ago now .... they felt it was a good move then ...

They would have to sell it cheap ...
 

navychop

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If this story holds up, I suspect about a year from now, defections to Dish may notably increase
 
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Tampa8

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I agree that the future is wireless, but that doesn't mean they will up and quit everything else ...
They Bouhgt it, whats it been, 5 years ago now .... they felt it was a good move then ...

They would have to sell it cheap ...
I would agree, no question if it is sold it will be far far below what they paid. And that's the problem investors have to decide how much less they would take against selling it off in other ways, and also against what are the profits of keeping it going.
From their half hearted attempt at online services, I actually do think they will abandon everything else for entertainment delivery to the exclusion of wireless. There is no good future is using other's internet delivery services for your entertainment services if that is your prime way to provide entertainment. There is no one who is going to start their own internet company, stringing new line etc. Just ask Google, Verizon. At&t is not going to be beholden to Comcast, Spectrum etc they want to directly compete against them. Short term they may have to use an online service like DISH has. (Sling) But long term if they want to be the master of their domain and decide against satellite that leaves wireless for a nationwide service. ( A little Seinfeld lingo)
 

Radioguy41

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Imagine a company where 16 million clients aren't considered a viable customer base. :rolleyes:

Yes, DTV lost some customers but certainly not enough to throw in the towel. The fact is AT&T bought a company they haven't got a clue how to run so in their corporate incompetence they've convinced themselves they can convert all those people over to a cable style streaming service, with all the associated cable type customer costs. How sad. I just wonder at what point the stock holders insurrection will hold forth.
 

JZ4K

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This story reads like propaganda for streaming, right now, today DIRECTV is fine. Tomorrow is another day, sale, merger, etc. it will be around for a while unless of course AT&T shoots it in the head just for the hell of it, believe me they are capable the incompetent bastards!
 
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Claude Greiner

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I wish these idiots who write these articles would stop making it seem like Charlie has already bought Directv. He is not buying anything!

Charlie is ALWAYS a buyer. When Primestar went down he was a buyer, the same for USSB, Pegasus and even Directv 20 years ago.

Charlie is a buyer until he gets in line and it comes time to pay, and then the deal always falls apart, or it turns out there was never a deal to begin with. The only thing it helped do was boost Dish stock price.

Charlie has got his own problems with Dish bleeding customers at probably a higher percentage than Directv. He has got this Boost Mobile take over and this supposed 5G network is is supposed to be building that will likely never get built by him, and his money.

The only thing Directv is going to do is the following...

1) Ride out there churn and allow the customer base to stabilize.

2) Stop signing up deadbeats who won’t pay the bill, by raising the credit score requirements.

3) Raise prices to increase profit.

4) Minimize promotional pricing to avoid sticker shock when promotional pricing ends

The whole problem with both Dish and Directv is they don’t offer internet to all their customers and in ALL areas.

Dish your SOL, trying to get a decent internet connection, and the only way your getting internet with AT&T is if your in a “Rich” area that they installed fiber, or live close to a VRAD, and cab get decent internet speeds on their copper network.
 
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TheTechGuru

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So what will those of us with no cable anywhere in their entire county and only 1.5mbps DSL available do for TV when DirecTV goes away? Use over the air only? Go back to C-Band?
 

theBruce

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So what will those of us with no cable anywhere in their entire county and only 1.5mbps DSL available do for TV when DirecTV goes away? Use over the air only? Go back to C-Band?
Corporations do not care about the 15-20% that cannot get fast enough service, they care about the 80-85% that can.

Biggest example is Disney+ and soon HBO NOW, if they cared that the rural population cannot get their Streaming Service they would be cable/Sat. channels, then everyone could get them.

And yes, you can hope that Starlink works, but Dish and DirecTV would lose a lot of its Rural customers if it does.


Sent from my iPad using SatelliteGuys
 

mopardude01

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Well I hope it does work, because we need more competition in the rural areas to keep cost in check. There's always the other satellite company, I'm giving them a shot after almost 20 years with D*. After at&t got their hands on it went to crap. Tired of all the lies and deception from the big A. That's just my 2cents for what its worth.
 

Jimbo

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Well I hope it does work, because we need more competition in the rural areas to keep cost in check. There's always the other satellite company, I'm giving them a shot after almost 20 years with D*. After at&t got their hands on it went to crap. Tired of all the lies and deception from the big A. That's just my 2cents for what its worth.
Nothing else will keep the cost in check ...
I t will only show the other company where they can set thier price point ...
 

TheTechGuru

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Internet needs to be classified as a utility and be subject to the same rules as POTS was. A POTS line is generally the same price in the middle of a city or in the middle of nowhere. Basic broadband access (as defined by the FCC, 25mbps) needs to be the same price in the middle of nowhere as it is in the middle of a city and available everywhere POTS is.

In the past companies had to be forced by the government to provide electricity and POTS to homes in the middle of nowhere, the same now needs to be applied to basic broadband access.
 
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comp9

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Unless Dish launches more Sats I will never switch. The bit rate on there channels sucks. They need more bandwidth. Since Directv exclusively has Sunday ticket for 3 more seasons I see zero changes to anything for those 3 years. After. Who knows
 

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