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Will AT&T Get Rid Of U-verse?

Q. I’ve been a subscriber to AT&T’s U-verse TV for several years, but it seems like AT&T wants to get rid of it. They rarely give us anything new, and they even took away our web site. Does AT&T plan to keep supporting U-verse, or will we all get an e-mail one day saying it’s history and we need to subscribe to DIRECTV? — John, Monterey, California.

John, I understand your concern. Since AT&T merged with DIRECTV in 2015, the telco has subtlety (and, sometimes, not so subtlety) encouraged U-verse subscribers to switch to the satellite TV service.

After AT&T launched DIRECTV Now in November 2016, the company has also steered new and old customers to the live streaming service via price breaks and giveaways.

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And, as you note, AT&T has even eliminated the web site, which offered a programming guide, remote DVR capability, and streaming of live channels. Now, U-verse customers must download an app to watch their favorite shows online.

I can’t blame any U-verse TV subscriber for thinking it’s just a matter of time before the rug is pulled out from under him.

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But, John, I don’t think AT&T will close U-verse anytime soon. The pay TV division still has more than three million subscribers and AT&T simply can’t afford to jettison those folks.

There’s no guarantee that all of them, or even a majority, would switch to DIRECTV or DIRECTV Now. Many of them might cut the cord, or switch to another pay TV outfit, which would mean a significant loss in revenue for AT&T.

However, I think it’s highly likely that the name, U-verse, will soon disappear. In fact, AT&T has filed for a trademark for AT&T TV, which would be a perfect replacement name for U-verse. This could happen relatively soon.

— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (1549 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

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