Will AT&T Soon Sell DIRECTV?


Bankers say AT&T needs to sell DIRECTV due to the Coronavirus outbreak and accumulating company debt, according to a Fox Business report.

The report does not name the bankers, nor say how many are offering this opinion. It also does not say if the bankers are communicating this position with AT&T, or if AT&T is  accepting the verdict that it’s time to unload the nation’s top satellite TV service.

“I don’t know if AT&T will go for it, but they may not have much choice,” Fox Business’ Charlie Gasparino said in his report. “AT&T is coming under tremendous shareholder pressure to cut costs…They have a very underperforming asset known as DIRECTV that’s losing subscribers left and right. They have to figure out a way to get it off its balance sheet.”

DIRECTV has lost roughly five million subscribers since AT&T purchased it for $49 billion in 2015. The satcaster’s fortunes have become more bleak since the Coronavirus lockdown with AT&T reporting that DIRECTV and U-verse combined to lose 897,000 subscribers in the first quarter.

Dish, DIRECTV’s longtime satellite rival, would be a likely candidate to buy or merge with the satcaster. Charlie Ergen, Dish’s chairman, said earlier this year that a merger between the two satellite TV services is “inevitable.”

While Dish has also been losing subscribers over the last two years, the merger would give it more than 25 million pay TV subscribers in total. That would give Dish unique leverage in the marketplace to cut programming costs and other expenses.

Dish and DIRECTV tried to merge nearly 20 years ago, but the FCC nixed the deal on grounds that it would be anti-consumer. However, the video category has become more diverse since with the explosion of streaming.

Gasparino said the bankers believe a private equity firm, such as Apollo Global Management, could also play a role in bringing a DIRECTV-Dish deal together.

The Fox Business correspondent says AT&T, Apollo and Dish refused to comment on his report.

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19 comments on “Will AT&T Soon Sell DIRECTV?”

    1. Is there anything worse than risking calling customer service about a billing question and waking up the next day with your service cut off? Happened to me twice.

  1. If they do, FIX CUSTOMER SERVICE FIRST! Bring it back to the USA. Hate talking to someone I cannot understand.

  2. AT&T has been behind the market for years. They have neglected Direct TV since day one. Their customer service is horrendous. Please set us free for a hopeful future. We are located in a remote area and satalite is our only option.

  3. Someone need to come and get this dish and box. It is the worst service. Got two bills and each was in a different name.

  4. I agree about AT@T’s customer service also. Let’s not forget that AT@T has also gotten EPIX, 5 west coast feeds of different basic networks, and SportsNet LA I believe. Let’s also not forget that Dish Network gets in a lot of channel blackouts. They do not have HBO and Cinemax either. Dish Network does have PAC-12 though.

  5. I just unloaded DirecTV and att because of their God awful service. Went with Dish. Please don’t let DirecTV back in, they are the WORST

    1. Please don’t let DirecTV back in, ? From where ?

      You don’t understand, Directv will be under NEW management.

  6. I’ve had DTV for 20 years. It was so good before AT&T bought it. It’s gotten so bad that im sure they have weekly meetings to come up with more ways to screw over or hurt the customer or otherwise make it suck worse than it did the week before.

    1. It’s gotten so bad that i’m sure they have weekly meetings to come up with more ways to screw over or hurt the customer or otherwise make it suck worse than it did the week before.

      I think you are ON to Something. I also Believe that.

      Don’t forget Stephenson HATES Customers.

  7. If they merge you eliminate competition and consumers will pay more. Those in rural areas without cable will have only one choice and Dish will raise their prices without any conscious.

  8. Years ago, a DIRECT TV technician told me if I moved my dish off the roof, there wouldn’t be a way to get a usable satellite signal down on the ground because of the branches from one tree in the yard. Two years ago, a lightning strike took down the tree and I called DIRECT TV to come and move my dish. Technician says, he can’t do it because the position of the satellite has changed. All of that waiting for nothing… technicians who do not know what the heck they’re talking about. That, plus rain fade, convinced me to go with the fiber optic cable offered by my electric company. It’s a great signal, gives me everything that DIRECT TV offered, plus even more. I do have AT & T internet, so if they dump the satellite service, maybe my rates will go down. Frankly, I could care less if DIRECT TV goes under or not. I’ll never go back to satellite reception. It’s just another failed AT & T investment.

  9. Why did you want to move the Dish in the first place ?

    You don’t really believe the Satellite moved ? do you.
    That would mean EVERY Customer ( 15 Million ) would have to have their Dishes RE-positioned.
    Surprised some Tech didn’t tell you it works BETTER on the roof because it is CLOSER to the Satellite.

    AT&T does NOT have Internet (Unless you have AT&T FIBER)
    You can’t call AT&T’s U-Verse Internet.
    That was the next step up, from DIAL UP. (Maybe a step DOWN)
    You need to be REAL CLOSE to the neighborhood HUB for it to even “Kinda” work.
    Why would your Rates go DOWN if AT&T dumped the Satellite service ?

    Where do you live ?

    What Electric company has FIBER ?

    I have had DirecTV since it started. Satellite service has a BETTER Picture than Cable.
    NO amplifies along the Cable to get OLD and get WEAKER.
    Just a STRAIGHT Signal from the Satellite to Your Dish.
    AT&T did NOT start DirecTV, they BOUGHT a GOLD PLATED Service and Ruined it.

  10. Let us hope they have to. Karma baby. At&t has ruined DirecTV. From price hikes to some of the worst customer service. Moved call centers over seas to people that cant speak English and have no clue about their service. The original DirecTV owners had the best service over any business. That is all gone due to At&t. One of the most disgusting companies out there.

    1. Craig, You DON’T miss much !

      The Call Centers are an Embarrassment to the USA

      I Don’t understand why the Honcho’s aren’t in JAIL !!

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