Chief Financial Officer for AT&T, John Stephens, recently told analysts that, “AT&T’s planned over-the-top offering, DirecTV Now, slated to debut by the end of the year, will be a game changer.” AT&T hopes to attract more customers with the launch of DirecTV Now; especially those who prefer streaming services instead of a pay TV subscription.
The plan for the launch of DirecTV Now was announced earlier in March. Surprisingly, the further details regarding this new project were kept hidden and only a little bit of information is available to us. There was no further disclosure on this matter; Stephens kept quiet even in the conference call to analysts for discussing their second quarter results.
The conversation focused on boosting the strength of AT&T in its wireless and wireline networks, their plan to take advantage of 5G, and their status as the largest TV provider in the country. “And we’re about to introduce an OTT product that we believe will be a game changer. We expect the millions of people who don’t now subscribe to a video service and prefer a streaming option will be impressed,” Stephens said.
He also mentioned that AT&T was determined to make the necessary technologies and assets that are required for the OTT product, which included securing of the necessary stacks. This makes it clear that AT&T wants to ensure that the product will not encounter any difficulties or technical problems after its launch.
Stephens added that, “We are confident in that process and feel good about targeting the end of this year to get that out.” AT&T purchased DirecTV a year ago, and the results have been promising since then. Stephens also mentioned that they are ready to reap about $1.5 billion in run rate strategies from the merger by the end of this year and they hope to take in $2.5 billion by the end of 2018.
DirecTV had added approximately 342,000 customers in the second quarter this year, but AT&T suffered a huge loss of over 391,000 at their U-Verse wireline service. The company says that they have successfully managed to move their U-Verse TV customers into the DirecTV platform, and by the end of the second quarter, more than 80 percent of AT&T’s domestic business was on DirecTV.