Q. I have had DIRECTV for several years, but I was thinking of getting AT&T TV. But when I looked at their web site, it said that DIRECTV and U-verse subscribers can’t get AT&T TV. Why is that? I would think they wouldn’t care because it’s all in the same company, right? — Eddie, Corpus Christi, Texas. 

Eddie, that’s an interesting question. When AT&T announced last month that AT&T TV Now, the live streaming service, was merging with AT&T TV, a different company-owned live streaming service, eagle-eyed observers like yourself noticed that AT&T TV’s newly designed web site included this line:

“AT&T TV not available to DIRECTV and U-verse TV customers.”

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The apparent ban on DIRECTV and U-verse subscribers signing up for AT&T TV didn’t make sense, at least to this eagle-eyed observer. AT&T officials have frequently said AT&T TV was launched as an alternative to their two pay TV services, particularly DIRECTV. They said they believed satellite TV is declining so they would like their TV customers to transition to streaming.

The only thing that made sense, to this eagle-eyed observer, was if AT&T was no longer permitted to encourage DIRECTV and U-verse customers to make the switch. The company has reportedly been negotiating to sell the two services so, perhaps, it needed to stop ‘poaching’ their subscribers for AT&T TV because they would soon have a new owner.

Eddie, when I received your question, I decided to ask AT&T’s communications department if DIRECTV and U-verse subscribers were prohibited from subscribing to AT&T TV. Jim Kimberly, an AT&T TV spokesman, told me that “existing (DIRECTV and U-verse) customers can sign up for AT&T TV by calling 800-288-2020.”

When I followed up to ask why the web site states that they can’t subscribe to the streaming service, Kimberly said, “I am told the website will be updated.”

Under ‘See Channel Lineup,’ AT&T TV’s web site says DIRECTV and U-verse subscribers can’t get it.

So, mystery solved. You can draw your own conclusions as to why the apparent ban was on the site in the first place. But it would seem that it longer exists, if it ever did.

Eddie, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann