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AT&T to Introduce DirecTV Satellite Service… Over the Internet

Phillip Dampier May 16, 2018 AT&T, Competition, Consumer News, Online Video No Comments

DirecTV’s satellite lineup, delivered over the internet.

DirecTV satellite customers with broadband connections might be able to scrap their satellite dishes and set-top equipment when AT&T launches its broadband-delivered version of DirecTV by the end of 2018.

AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan made the announcement at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit on Tuesday, telling the audience the lineup would be nearly identical to the satellite TV packages customers get today from DirecTV’s satellite dish service.

Customers who opt to dump their dish may also save money by moving their subscription to a broadband platform. Currently, AT&T sells DirecTV for $120-200 a month, depending on equipment and channel lineup. The broadband equivalent, which will not require any expensive set-top box equipment and will rely on a cloud-based DVR, will sell for $80-90 a month.

DirecTV satellite packages (new customer promotional rates — regular prices are higher)

“We won’t roll a truck,” to install a satellite dish, Donovan said. “The [equipment costs] will be cheaper. It will be a thinner, lighter version and we will have lower operating costs. We anticipate passing [on] a lot of those cost savings [to customers].”

Donovan believes a transition away from satellite will be a win-win for the company and consumers because both will face lower costs. It also gives DirecTV the chance to expand, marketing its full video lineup to customers who can’t get a satellite signal, don’t want a dish, or live in a building that restricts satellite equipment.

“It will extend our footprint,” Donovan said at the MoffettNathanson event. “It will not only have a lower price point, but it will have margins that are similar and, therefore, better returns because there will be less upfront costs.”

With today’s announcement, AT&T will have at least five different video products on offer for consumers: DirecTV satellite service, DirecTV over broadband, DirecTV Now — a slimmed down package targeting cord-cutters, U-verse TV — AT&T’s traditional cable TV package, and AT&T Watch — a forthcoming ultra-slim offering that will cost $15 a month for non-AT&T wireless customers. Existing AT&T wireless customers will get Watch free of charge, if they have an unlimited data plan.







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