AT&T said today that its sale of a 30 percent stake in DIRECTV to private equity firm, TPG, should be completed in “the next few weeks.”
The telco made the disclosure today in the release of its second quarter report.
AT&T announced on February 25 that it would sell 30 percent of DIRECTV, U-verse and AT&T TV to a private equity firm, TPG, and the two would combine to create a new company to run all three TV services.
Under the agreement, the new DIRECTV will be governed by a board with two representatives each from AT&T and TPG as well as a fifth seat for the CEO, who will be Bill Morrow, a top AT&T executive. In the February 25 announcement, AT&T said the deal was expected to close in the second half of this year.
The FCC last week approved the transfer of DIRECTV’s satellite licenses to the new company, a final regulatory obstacle before the new DIRECTV can begin. The agency ruled that the sale was “in the public interest.”
And the web site, Streaming Clarity, reported last week that at least one DIRECTV retailer is already promoting something called, ‘DIRECTV Stream,’ which would appear to be a replacement name for AT&T TV. This would make sense. AT&T executives hinted in the sale announcement that the DIRECTV brand would be used for AT&T’s two other TV services, U-verse and AT&T TV.
It’s unknown how the ‘new DIRECTV’ might be different from the existing version of the satellite TV service which has lost millions of subscribers since AT&T purchased it in 2015. However, TPG’s history suggests it might make some bold moves in an attempt to reduce subscriber losses and restore DIRECTV’s image.
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— Phillip Swann