Q. I saw that AT&T’s CEO just refused to comment on whether the company is selling DIRECTV. Do you think the sale is still on? Or are they backing away now? — Tony, Las Vegas.
Tony, AT&T CEO John Stankey this week addressed (virtually) the Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference and was asked about a number of subjects including whether the company was planning to sell DIRECTV.
But Stankey’s ‘no comment’ remarks actually included some affirmations that the sale is still on the company’s front burner. The AT&T chief said he was looking for opportunities to jettison “businesses that aren’t positioned for long-term growth,” business which would be “distractions” for management.
If that’s not DIRECTV, I don’t know what would be. Stankey and other AT&T executives have said repeatedly that they don’t believe the satellite TV industry can grow, in the short term or long term. They have also said they need to focus primarily on businesses that reflect the company’s current priorities such as streaming, which they believe will grow dramatically.
While Stankey did not specifically mention he wanted to sell DIRECTV, anyone who follows the company closely can read the tea leaves here. AT&T wants out of the satellite TV business, and it’s doing everything it can to make that happen sooner than later.
Tony, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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