AT&T acquired DirecTV in 2015, giving the telecommunications giant access to many new customers. NFL Sunday Ticket – a DirecTV exclusive – also helped convince football fans to subscribe to AT&T’s home and wireless products. It seemed like a match made in heaven.
Now it appears the parent is beginning to phase out the DirecTV brand. This is evidenced by AT&T’s OTT streaming service changing its name from DirecTV Now to AT&T TV Now. News about the change appeared earlier this week in Telecompetitor and other sources.
Additional Details on AT&T TV
AT&T TV offers a similar programming lineup compared to other streaming services. One major difference is the Android set top box used to stream content. The service includes live TV, copious on-demand content, and a Cloud-based DVR.
NFL fans need to note that Sunday Ticket isn’t part of AT&T TV at this time. Since the box is Android powered, expect voice integration with Google Assistant and other related features. In a recent earnings call to shareholders, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stevenson added other insights on AT&T TV.
“AT&T TV, you should assume this will be the workhorse over the next couple years and we will put our shoulder and our muscle behind AT&T TV, get a lower price point, shore up this customer base over the next couple of years,” said Stephenson. Reducing subscriber loss due to cordcutting appears to be their main goal.
Cordcutting Damaging the DirecTV Brand?
As cordcutters continue to leave DirecTV and other satellite and cable services, AT&T’s branding move makes sense. However, satellite TV service isn’t completely going away. In fact, some in the industry speculate a merger between DirecTV and Dish is in the works.
Tactically, the merger is smart. The two satellite providers combined to lose nearly 3 million subscribers over the past year. With a declining market, one larger company makes more sense.
Remember, a merger of two industry giants also happened in satellite radio. It’s been over a decade since Sirius and XM merged their companies. It apparently took longer for similar pressures to affect satellite television.
Satellite Telecommunications isn’t Going Anywhere
Even with satellite TV on the decline, the era of satellite Internet service might be entering a golden age. We recently discussed Amazon’s plans for satellite broadband. Their competitors include SpaceX and Richard Branson’s OneWeb among others.
Ultimately, your DirecTV satellite service might replaced by AT&T TV Now also delivered by satellite. For those underserved rural regions, perhaps space still provides the most cost-effective means of providing Internet access.
Stay tuned to Bandwidth Place for additional insights on the telecommunications world. We also help you find the best ISP in your area. Be sure to check your Internet speed to ensure you get the most from your service.