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31 Jan

Analyst Says AT&T Is Losing Big Money On Every DirecTV Now Promo Subscription

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DirecTV Now Subscribers

AT&T has released their streaming TV service, DirecTV Now, recently and they have been offering promotional prices to attract more and more users to the various packages. The various tiers of DirecTV Now are Live a Little, Just Right, Go Big and Gotta Have It, and the pricings for the packages are 35 dollars, 50 dollars, 60 dollars, and 70 dollars respectively.

The Go Big tier was offered for a promotional pricing of thirty-five dollars, which is now expired, but according to analyst Craig Moffett, AT&T will lose about 355 dollars per user who has signed up for the Go Big tier of DirecTV Now during the 35 dollar per month promotional period.

The figures were first reported in early December, right after the launch of the DirecTV Now service. The report examined the overall pay TV user data of the parent company of the streaming service. AT&T released a pre-earnings document recently and the document indicated that they have grown their pay TV user base in the fourth quarter. The increase in the pay TV subscriber base solely accounts to DirecTV Now.

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Streaming TV Service

There were many issues with the DirecTV Now service, but even with all the glitches, it managed to bag around 200,000 new signups. However, Moffett noted that the lifetime value of a traditional DirecTV satellite user is 2,500 dollars, and as the traditional platforms of AT&T, U-Verse and DirecTV are not adding any new users. Moffett calculated that, “The value erosion just from the positive net additions of DirecTV subscribers likely exceeds $70 million.”

AT&T ended their thirty-five dollar promotion of the DirecTV Now Go Big package on Jan 9 and restored the tier price to 60 dollars a month. It is not yet clear how many initial signup of DirecTV Now went with the Go Big package, but it will be safe to assume that most of the early signups went with the promotional deal.

It is reported that AT&T will release their full fourth quarter earnings report soon and we will able to understand on the user base and signups of DirecTV Now only after the release of their full earnings report.

12 Jan

AT&T Pays Homage To Film And TV Classics With New DirecTV Commercial

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New DirecTV Commercial

The new DirecTV commercial titled ‘Everywhere’ is an absolute delight to watch. The previous advertising campaigns of the network have been equally promising too, but this one truly stands above them all.

Director Tom Kuntz has put up such a grand venture onto television advertising, which has surely impressed us all with its elaborate production design and magnitude. What is more highlighting about this ad is its homage to all those film and television classics of the past.

The new DirecTV ad is certainly a tribute to the contributions made by timeless classics to the world of entertainment and art. The inclusion of many references, cameos, and musical cues in the advertisement has surely served its very purpose to attract the viewers.

AT&T Entertainment Group director of advertising, Dave Brown shared his excitement about the new commercial recently. Brown said, “Our hope is that viewers will really begin to look at AT&T from a whole new perspective. The past few years have been really exciting when you think about where we are going and what we are now bringing to our customers.”

“You can watch a blockbuster movie on your commute to work and we help make that possible. We want to bring a little bit of that wow we feel to our customers in a way that reflects this new reality,” he added.

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David Hasselhoff

There is also the presence of many big stars in the commercial like David Hasselhoff, who appears as a black knight, alongside the characters of John Ratzenberger, George Wendt, and Matt Vogel. In fact, their random appearances throughout the commercial have surprised the audience a bit.

BBDO New York executive creative director, Steven Fogel voiced his opinion about the decision to include the numerous references from such iconic film and television productions, and said, “We wanted to use shows and movies across the entertainment spectrum, from modern to classic, to really give the viewer the sense that everything is at your fingertips. At the same time, it was important that the music be very recognizable and iconic, and that each piece work well as a part of the music track.”

The DirecTV commercial truly catered to the demands of the growing influence of media and pop culture fandom in the society. This is the sole reason for its immense popularity among the audience. The dialogues, characters, scenes, and theme music are deeply ingrained into the mainstream culture of today, specifically the youth.

28 Dec

AT&T Replies To DirecTV Now Customer Complaints

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DirecTV Now Complaints

AT&T had recently launched their streaming service, DirecTV Now, but it appears that there are some kinks in the system. Subscribers of DirecTV Now started complaining about issues and glitches in the service on social media websites soon after its launch. Most of the complaints were about the error message QP1502 that many of the users ran into.

Responding to that, A&T issued a statement saying that, “With any new technology there are going to be fixes that need to be made. While we understand we still have work to do, overall feedback on DirecTV Now has been very positive. In this instance, only a limited amount of customers are affected and we are working quickly to address.”

In addition to that, representatives of DirecTV Now have been responding to frustrated users on social media sites, saying that they are aware of the issues and they are working on resolving the problems as soon as possible.

DirecTV Now service from AT&T is aimed at cord cutters and those who are unable to afford cable or do not want to be locked into contracts with any of the providers. The streaming service combines live TV from popular networks like NBC, Fox, ESPN, and many more, and offers numerous packages to choose from.

The base pack of DirecTV Now is available for just thirty-five dollars a month and it offers more than sixty channels. The most robust offering is available at seventy dollars per month that offers more than 120 channels. In addition to that, users can add premium networks like Cinemax and HBO for just five dollars per month to their packages.

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DirecTV Now Customers

Convenience is the key of the DirecTV Now service, as the internal motto of the service is “rules free TV”. Users do not need a cable box or satellite TV to avail DirecTV Now and it works across a plethora of devices. Moreover, DirecTV Now service is free of long-term contracts and subscribers also have the option to shuffle between the different packages whenever they want.

“Consumers want more TV freedom,” said Brad Bentley, who is the chief marketing officer for AT&T. “They want all that great content and they want it everywhere, and they don’t want limitations around that content, and they want great value.”

As of now, AT&T has the most number of pay TV subscribers, and with DirecTV Now, it seems that the Telco giant is ready to invest in original programming to compete with the streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. Let us hope that glitches or technical issues do not hinder their plans.

16 Dec

U-Verse And DirecTV Customers Will Lose Access To Esquire Network

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DirecTV Customers

AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV customers will no longer be able to access Hearst Magazine and NBCUniversal’s Esquire Network. This is because the satellite and wired TV service from AT&T has decided to drop the channel. In a recent statement, AT&T said, “We routinely modify our channel lineups based on many factors, while continuing to strive to offer more choice, control and convenience to our customers.”

AT&T had approximately 25.3 million subscribers altogether in their U-Verse and DirecTV services as of September 2016. AT&T wasn’t offering Esquire Network to all these subscribers at that time. However, about 11 million homes subscribed to DirecTV service later, and approximately 4 million homes that are currently under AT&T U-Verse service, will lose their access to this channel.

The executives from the channel have responded to this decision from AT&T to drop the channels to be disappointing. This network has an abundant collection of entertaining contents about family, relationships, travel, drink, food, style, and fashion, and it targets affluent men.

The program lineup of this network includes Joyride, Wrench Against The Machine, Car Matchmaker, Team Ninja Warrior, American Ninja Warrior, and Friday Night Tykes. However, it seems that AT&T’s decision to drop Esquire Network might not have a huge impact on the network, as it will be still available in approximately 45 million homes via other cable TV providers.

The network bills themselves as a destination for fans of “a well-played life” including “classic and contemporary passions and interests, from fashion and style to food and drink, travel, family and relationships.” Reports indicate that Esquire Network will be removed from the channel lineup of both U-Verse and DirecTV packages subscribers from December 15, 2016.

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Dropping Channels

“It is disappointing that AT&T and DirecTV will no longer carry Esquire, but it continues to be carried across the nation to millions of subscribers and it is business as usual for the network,” officials from Esquire Network commented. “We remain excited about our dynamic slate of original programming, including hit franchises Friday Night Tykes, American Ninja Warrior, Team Ninja Warrior, Car Matchmaker, Wrench Against the Machine, Joyride and diverse projects in development.”

On the other hand, AT&T firmly believes that the removal of these channels from U-Verse and DirecTV services will not urge the customers to cut the cord, as the provider is offering plenty of popular contents at an affordable price. In addition to that, reports indicate that AT&T is also planning to add more channels to their offerings.

28 Nov

AT&T CEO To Bring Tectonic Shifts In The Company

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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson

Randall Stephenson has been working for AT&T for thirty-four years now. If he has his way, the company where he spent half his life, will be a different company in the year 2017. Stephenson is seeking to acquire Time Warner Inc in a $108.7 billion deal and if the move became successful, it would be a milestone in his career. It would transform AT&T into a media powerhouse.

It is clear that Stephenson has yanked his company through dramatic and repeated changes. Some of these changes are about the bottom line, whereas many others combine a focus on profit with the determinations to do the right thing.

He guided AT&T when needed, and has become comfortable making use of his position of influence to push outside of the walls of the company. Stephenson has also become much vocal on the social issues, and has promoted development in the poor communities.

Changes that Stephenson has brought to AT&T are about innovations. Mike Rawlings, who is the Dallas Mayor, describes Stephenson as “being able to play at two levels at the same time.”

A year after Stephenson has took over as the CEO, he changed AT&T headquarters to Dallas from San Antonio. Before two years, he said, “As we get to the end of 2015, we’re going to be talking about a very different business and a very different company.” He was hinting about AT&T’s pickup of DirecTV and some wireless companies.

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AT&T Media Powerhouse

If Stephenson makes the Time Warner merger work, high quality and high dollar content creation will be added to AT&T. It will be an all new experience for AT&T and Stephenson as Warner Brothers, HBO, CNN, and other Time Warner operations are completely new territory for AT&T.

Media business analyst Craig Moffett said that there is only a fifty-fifty chance for the AT&T-Time Warner merger to go through. This is not because Moffett has any dispute with Stephenson, but he believes that AT&T CEO has the skills and powers to bring major changes.

“Randall Stephenson is an extraordinary leader, not least because he understands that with an organization as large and complex as AT&T, he can’t possibly manage every detail on his own,” Moffett said. “Randall is setting a grand strategic vision, but it will be up to his lieutenants to execute.”

23 Nov

AT&T And Fox Networks Group Sign An Agreement

DirecTV Packages

AT&T Fox Networks Deal

In a recent announcement, Fox Networks Group and AT&T confirmed that both the parties have successfully reached an agreement. This deal will ensure that all the AT&T DirecTV products will continue to receive the entire collection of Fox Networks channels.

This means that the Fox Networks channels will also be available on AT&T’s latest streaming service, DirecTV Now, which will be available to the subscribers by the end of this month. DirecTV Now subscribers will be able to all the Fox programming which includes Nat Geo Wild, National Geographic, 18 Fox regional sports networks, Big Ten Network, FS 2, FS 1, FXM, FXX, FX, Fox Business Network, and Fox News Channel.

In addition to that, both the major companies have also agreed on a framework for the Fox Broadcasting Company programming, which will be later delivered to all the DirecTV Now subscribers in the entire nation. Furthermore, U-Verse and all DirecTV packages subscribers can continue to access Fox broadcast stations, regional sports networks, and other channels, both live and On-Demand through the TV Everywhere app, linear TV, and online.

DirecTV subscribers will also be able to access the 4K content offered by Fox’s marquee sports properties, which includes FIFA World Cup games, NASCAR races, top college basketball, football games, as well as the fan favorite MLB regular season and the playoff games.

AT&T Deals

DirecTV Now Subscriber

Mike Biard, Fox Networks Group President of Distribution said, “We’re delighted and gratified to team up with DIRECTV to offer our brands as part of DIRECTV NOW. This agreement demonstrates our commitment to providing viewers with a seamless TV experience across the full range of our leading brands in news, sports and entertainment.”

Chief Content Officer for AT&T, Dan York, said, “The expansion of our relationship with Fox enables AT&T to offer Fox content across our platforms and products. And it’s a big win for our DIRECTV NOW customers, who will have easy and immediate access to a wide array of Fox programming, including popular national and sports content they can watch virtually anywhere, anytime.”

AT&T had earlier announced that their latest streaming service would offer more than a hundred popular channels to their subscribers at an affordable price of just $35 per month. DirecTV Now subscribers can stream and access their favorite TV shows and other contents either over a wireless or wired internet connection.

23 Nov

CBS Won’t Be Available In DirecTV Now Release

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DirecTV Now Launch

The aggressively priced DirecTV Now service from AT&T is planned to debut on Nov 28, but CBS will not be a part of the internet television package. CBS is among the most watched TV networks in the US, although it will not be included in the DirecTV Now service, sources confirmed.

AT&T has been working to make programming deals before the official launch of the DirecTV Now service, which as per AT&T, will be available starting at thirty-five dollars a month and will include more than a hundred channels.

Recently, Bloomberg reported that CBS would not be available on DirecTV Now, but AT&T and CBS representatives declined to comment on the news. AT&T and CBS are continuing to negotiate on a deal to carry CBS programming as part of the DirecTV Now service later.

It has to be noted that CBS had inked a deal with Google last month for a “skinny bundle” of TV networks. As per the sources, the service will be called YouTube Unplugged and is expected to be launched by the start of next year.

AT&T recently announced an expanded carriage deal with Fox Network Group. Under the deal, AT&T picked up streaming rights for the DirecTV Now service to Fox Business Network, FX, Fox News Channel, FXX, and other networks. Sources say that there is also a “framework” for Fox Broadcasting programming to be delivered to the customers of DirecTV Now service across the nation.

DirecTV

TV Streaming Service

Apart from that, AT&T had earlier confirmed DirecTV Now carriage deals with NBCUniversal, Turner, Disney/ESPN, HBO, AMC Networks, Scripps, Viacom, A+E Networks, Starz, and Univision Communications. Yet again, the Telco has not yeast released any details about the specific packages that will be available on DirecTV Now at the time of its release.

Analysts say that with a thirty-five dollars price for more than a hundred channels, AT&T will be offering the DirecTV Now service for a negative margin. Moreover, the service will be offering streaming access to VOD and live TV across mobile and connected TV devices, and it is also expected that AT&T will be offering sign up bonuses to users, which includes free Apple TV device for subscribers who pay for three months or more.

The DirecTV Now service will be limited to single streaming per account, meaning that the service will not be a replacement for the traditional satellite or cable TV for those households with more than one TV sets.

03 Nov

DirecTV Plays Dangerous Games With OTT Service

DirecTV Packages

AT&T OTT Services

AT&T has set a price of thirty-five dollars per month for their hundred plus channels OTT service, DirecTV Now, and industry analysts have already started poking holes in the initial business case of the service. DirecTV Now has not yet released the channel lineup, but analysts estimate that the monthly programming expense for the service would be around thirty-four dollars.

Craig Moffett, analyst at MoffettNathanson wrote, “That would leave DirecTV’s gross margin per subscriber at around $1. Yes, $1. DirecTV’s margin after SAC [subscriber acquisition cost], customer service, transport, computing and storage costs would be negative.” Moffett explained that based on the available estimates, the initial foray of DirecTV Now is similar to the “Entertainment” package offered by the regular DirecTV satellite service, that includes ESPN.

He noted that the estimates assume a price per channel that is in line with the regular DirecTV service, but wondered if AT&T is paying a premium for the digital rights for the channels. Furthermore, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield said in a blog post that, “On the pure video product, DirecTV Now appears willing to make little-to-no money or even lose money.”

Moffett said he understands that DirecTV Now has many deals in place with all the important programming owners with the exception of CBS. “Excluding CBS and Fox, content costs, according to SNL Kagan, would be in the $26 range, again assuming that there are no premiums associated with the additional rights afforded the new delivery platform.”

Experts also estimate that subscribers of DirecTV usually command a sixty-dollar video gross margin, so AT&T should be careful not to nip at their traditional pay TV product. “AT&T’s aim is, of course, to minimize cannibalization of existing subscribers (and minimize piracy and password sharing), so the new service will be limited to a single stream, reducing its attractiveness as a substitute for linear packages that serve whole household,” Moffett explained.

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Channels In DirecTV Now

Greenfield noted that he was expecting the DirecTV Now service to cost at least sixty dollars per month, prior to the official AT&T announcement about the pricing structure. Keeping that in mind, he expects that thirty-five dollars per month to be the base offering of DirecTV Now and believes that multiple tiers would come up that will offer more access, improved features, and extensive channel line-up.

24 Oct

AT&T All Set To Get On The Streaming Arena

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AT&T Plans

AT&T Inc. always makes every effort to stay ahead in the market, be it the telephone arena or the TV segment. Their motives were quite obvious, when AT&T decided to acquire DirecTV last year, that the Telco giant wanted to march in to the entertainment industry with a bang. And with their plans to launch a streaming service now, makes AT&T’s intentions of dominating the telephone, internet, and TV industry all the more clear.

As the world today is moving towards online video services and streaming options, many traditional TV providers have shifted their focus from cable and satellite services to the internet-based medium. We saw this with the launch of Sling TV from Dish Network last year, which is now followed by AT&T and many other giants in the business. However, AT&T has also hinted that they would not abandon the traditional DirecTV satellite services because of their new TV platform.

The streaming service by AT&T, called DirecTV Now, is expected to be launched by the end of the year. Reports suggest that the pricing of the service will range somewhere between 50-55 dollars a month. Nonetheless, AT&T has said that DirecTV Now would offer around 100 channels to its subscribers, including ESPN, Discovery, and Nickelodeon.

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DirecTV Now

Interestingly, AT&T is not at all bothered that a cheaper TV streaming option could draw their existing TV subscribers to a relatively low-priced option. When asked about how they plan to tackle that, CEO Randall Stephenson said, “That means you have found something that the market really, really wants.” Moreover, he also mentioned that they are not planning to introduce any “skinny” package either.

“We think skinny bundles have very small application in the market over time,” said John Stankey, chief of AT&T entertainment business. “People in a household are going to want to watch different things. There’s a reason to look at a much broader offering of content.”

Even though AT&T has not officially revealed the packages and pricing details for DirecTV Now, CEO Stephenson said that the streaming service would have a “very, very aggressive price.” He further added that the company aims to keep the profits “thinner” and highlighted that the venture would not demand too much capital investment. Reports say that the Telco would bundle DirecTV Now with AT&T internet deals in order to keep the customer churn in control.

12 Oct

Hughes Communications Introduces Voice Service

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HughesNet Voice Service

HughesNet has always been the number one choice for satellite internet in the nation. The reliable service and fast internet speed they offer has attracted more customers towards their offerings in the past few years. Another incredible new service launched by HughesNet is their voice services.

HughesNet voice service uses a satellite from outer space to beam phone calls into your house. This latest feature from HughesNet uses a groundbreaking technology called as HughesNet Voice-over-IP (VoIP), which uses and communicates over the same satellite connection used for HughesNet satellite internet service.

The installation process of HughesNet voice service is simple and quick. A certified HughesNet professional will come to your home after you sign up for the voice service. The technician will install a device named as ATA (analog telephone adapter), which routes your phone calls through the satellite dish and your modem.

Once the installation is complete, you will be able to use HughesNet voice service immediately, and enjoy the exciting budget-friendly plans and packages offered by Hughes Communications. A consistent and incredible high internet speed is one of the main highlights of HughesNet phone.

Moreover, this service will not influence the data allowance of your internet and it guarantees that your satellite internet connection will not be interrupted. The company claims that their subscribers will continue to receive the reliable and quality internet connection as always.

Finding an accurate match of high-speed internet and phone services at home might seem difficult for users. However, HughesNet has successfully solved this problem by offering quality phone and reliable home internet services. Furthermore, this service is also available at a much lower cost.

HughesNet has optimized their voice service to perfectly match and work with their HughesNet satellite internet. This will increase the convenience of the subscribers and they will get access to a better internet and phone connection.

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Voice-over-IP

This voice service from HughesNet is simple, elegant, and affordable. In addition to this, HughesNet Voice also offers plenty of home phone features at zero extra charges, such as call waiting, unlimited calling in domestic Canada and United States, call forwarding, as well as enhanced voicemail that offers remote access to text and email alerts.

HughesNet Voice also offers an opportunity for their customers to use their existing phone number, while switching to their services. The customers could also select a new number as per their convenience.

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