AT&T is reportedly considering putting DIRECTV up for sale.
The information on this comes from a new report out of The Wall Street Journal which credits “people familiar with the matter” for the details.
The report emphasizes the point AT&T is only considering this and it may decide to ultimately keep DIRECTV. If a sale was to go ahead, there’s no suggestion it would include AT&T TV NOW (formerly DIRECTV NOW).
A TV service too far
AT&T wants to make it in TV. That’s clear considering AT&T now almost has more TV services than Google has messaging apps. Not only does AT&T offer DIRECTV as a satellite option, but it also now has AT&T TV.
In many ways, AT&T TV is the evolution of DIRECTV as it offers a similar premise but in streaming form. Arguably, the existence of AT&T TV and the general shift towards online content might be what’s fueling AT&T’s consideration here.
Besides, DIRECTV and AT&T TV, AT&T also offers AT&T TV NOW, WatchTV, and it's WarnerMedia division is preparing for the release of HBO Max. An upgraded version of HBO which combines HBO content with content acquired during the Time Warner purchase.
DIRECTV NOW is now AT&T TV NOW
While the subject topic here is DIRECTV, there’s no indications the company is preparing to also let go of AT&T TV NOW. For one thing, the rebranding has already taken effect and on that basis DIRECTV NOW is no longer a DIRECTV product.
Following the rebrand, DIRECTV NOW moved to the AT&T TV side of things and this is an aspect of the business the company will not be looking at letting go of anytime soon.
Like DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW/AT&T TV NOW has seen drastic declines in subscriber numbers in 2019, but for different reasons. In fact, it is services like AT&T TV NOW that’s having a devastating effect on all traditional TV services like DIRECTV.
In contrast, AT&T TV NOW’s subscriber decline has come as the result of the company’s own actions. On the one hand, the company had made it clear it wants low-value subscribers to leave. While on the other hand, it has raised prices, dropped channels, and endured multiple channel blackouts in 2019 as a result of carriage negotiations.
Therefore, while the two previously related services are encountering similar problems, they are for different reasons.
In regards to today’s news, it may simply be the case that AT&T is operating on too many video fronts at the same time. If that is the case, the satellite service would be the obvious one to let go.