Some of our readers may be familiar with internet media outfit Quickplay, provider of streaming services and a current service provider to AT&T. Currently, Quickplay's services and backend power AT&T's U-Verse TV Everywhere mobile television service. AT&T, however, is not satisfied with merely being a customer; They plan to actually purchase Quickplay from private equity outfit Madison Dearborn Partners in the very near future, for an undisclosed amount. The plan is to use Quickplay as a backend for planned new over-the-top video services under the DIRECTV banner, known as DIRECTV Now, DIRECTV Mobile and DIRECTV Preview.
AT&T's CEO, John Stankey, spoke highly of Quickplay's tech chops in the over-the-top services market and what they could mean for AT&T and DIRECTV's services, saying "Quickplay's multitenant IP distribution infrastructure, combined with AT&T's leading scale in IP connected end points, will allow us to host and distribute all forms of video traffic." He said that AT&T wants to offer customers high-quality and vastly varied video content, no matter what time, place or device the customer's current situation may be. Acquiring the Toronto-based streaming provider will net AT&T access to over 700 live channels and about 4,000 different live events per year to deliver to their customers. Stankey also explained that the technology that AT&T has been developing to deploy high-quality video for over a decade is "highly automated and scalable", making a nationwide rollout of the new services relatively cheap, quick and painless for the carrier.
Entering into a relatively new space, currently dominated by the likes of Verizon's Go90, AT&T is looking to gain their edge through integration and convenience, giving customers complete control and ease of use. AT&T plans to keep Quickplay in its current form upon buying it, including all of its employees and contractors, rather than simply buying out Quickplay's contracts, technological assets and framework. Before the transfer can go through, it will be scrutinized in the U.S. under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and in Canada under the Competition Act. Should everything in the transaction and regulatory scrutiny go off without a hitch, AT&T and Quickplay expect the deal to wrap up at some point in the middle of 2016.