DirecTV And Dish Said To Be Open To Merging

AT&T Inc.’s DirecTV and Dish Network Corp., suffering the steepest subscriber losses in the pay-TV industry, are open to a merger and both companies believe such a deal could pass muster with U.S. regulators, according to people familiar with their thinking.

AT&T Eyes $16-$17-a-Month Streaming Service

The Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia is discussing plans to package HBO, sister channel Cinemax and its vast Warner Bros. TV and movie library into a streaming service costing between $16 and $17 a month, according to people familiar with the matter, a strategy aimed at keeping the media giant competitive against lower-priced offerings in a crowded field. Journal subscribers can read the full story here.

Trump Urges AT&T Boycott Over CNN Coverage

President Donald Trump has just arrived in the United Kingdom for a multi-day diplomatic visit to America’s longest and strongest ally, and what is his first message upon arrival? Blasting CNN and making a strong suggestion of boycotting owner AT&T because of the cable network’s coverage.

AT&T’s Streaming Ambitions Hit Snag

The corporate home of Wonder Woman, Harry Potter and Friends weighs how its streaming service can compete on price with Disney, Netflix and Amazon.

AT&T’s SVoD Services Will Be Pay-TV Friendly

AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit will take direct aim at consumers with a coming set of OTT-delivered subscription VoD services, but pay-TV providers will also play an important role in their distribution.

QUARTERLY REPORT

DirecTV Now Loses Nearly 20% Of Subs

DirecTV Now, AT&T’s streaming video app, has seen sharp customer declines in recent months that all but wiped out a year’s worth of subscriber growth, according to the company’s latest earnings report.

Big Tech’s Shifting Lobbying Army

 Lines are blurring or becoming more stark among different tech, media and telecom companies. Telecom companies are producing content, while platform companies are exploring new services like internet connections. That means sectors are no longer staying in their lanes, and regulatory scrutiny is shifting.

White House Refuses To Share AT&T-TW Emails

Concerned that the White House may have influenced the Justice Department’s decision to try to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger, Hill Democrats asked for any correspondence between the White House and Justice Department relating to merger. But the White House counsel declined, citing executive privilege.

AT&T Sells Its 9.5% Of Hulu For $1.4B

Hulu said Monday that AT&T sold its stake back to owners Disney and Comcast for $1.43 billion, valuing the unprofitable Hulu at $15 billion.

Maine Senators Diss Distant-Signal License

The Maine Senate delegation is calling out DirecTV and parent AT&T for importing TV station distant signals into Presque Isle, Maine, rather than delivering the local stations. Unlike cable operators, satellite operators don’t have to carry local TV stations, though if they carry one they must carry all. Presque Isle is one of a dozen of the smallest markets where DirecTV has chosen not to carry the stations.

AT&T And Viacom Reach Carriage Deal

After negotiating throughout the weekend, AT&T and Viacom announced Monday morning that they had reached an agreement to renew their carriage agreement. Details of the deal were not immediately available.

Viacom Goes To War With AT&T Over DirecTV

Viacom is blasting telco giant AT&T on several fronts as the companies wrestle over a carriage renewal deal that is vital to Viacom’s long-term financial health. As of Tuesday, Viacom had begun running crawls and promo spots on its channels warning viewers that Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, MTV and other channels could go dark on AT&T’s DirecTV as of midnight ET on Friday, when the current contract expires.

AT&T Raises DirecTV Now Prices

DirecTV Now used to start at $40 a month. The cheapest for new customers will now be $50. Packages will now include the AT&T-owned HBO, but the service is dropping some popular lifestyle and entertainment networks not owned by AT&T, including HGTV, Discovery, Food Network and MTV.

WarnerMedia’s CEO Salary Grows To $16.5M

WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey, who is overseeing AT&T’s takeover and integration of Time Warner, made $16.55 million in 2018, up 64% from $10.01 million a year before. In an SEC filing on Monday, AT&T also reported that CEO Randall Stephenson, whose giant telecommunications company also owns and runs DirecTV, saw his total compensation last year rise to $29.1 million, against a year-earlier $28.7 million.

AT&T Execs Personally Reassured Ted Turner His Legacy Will Be Maintained

Disney In Talks For AT&T’s Hulu Stake

Disney wants to get even more control over Hulu: The company is in active discussions with AT&T to acquire the 10% stake that WarnerMedia owns in the streaming joint venture.

AT&T TW Takeover Reshaped Media World

The combination of one of the country’s largest wireless carriers and TV providers with a major TV and movie company has already reshaped the media landscape. Here’s a look back at the deal, the pushback from the government and its future implications.

WarnerMedia Debuts Content Innovation Lab Fueled By AT&T Tech

AT&T To Advertise On YouTube Again

AT&T, one of the biggest advertisers in the U.S., had balked because offensive content too often accompanied its ads. Now, after nearly two years, it says YouTube has addressed the issue.

AT&T’s Turner, Xandr Integrate Data

AT&T’s Turner networks and advertising business Xandr said Tuesday they have begun using the wireless carrier’s customer data to help advertisers better reach audiences across Turner brands like CNN and TBS on TV and over digital platforms.

AT&T Launching Mobile 5G In 12 Cities

 

AT&T is activating its mobile 5G network in parts of 12 cities this week, with plans to add seven more cities in the first half of 2019. Consumers in the cities can try out the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot on the 5G network with AT&T supplying select consumers and businesses their first mobile 5G device and data usage an no cost for 90 days

AT&T: Ads Will Be Key To OTT Future

AT&T’s advertising unit, Xandr, will be at the center of its effort to transform the video advertising business. “Consumers clearly like the breadth of content that is available today. They like the choice. And a lot of that choice comes on the back of ad-supported models,” WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said.

AT&T PPV Gaffe Exposes Limits Of Online Sports

Technical Glitch Forces Turner To Offer Free Live Stream Of Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson PPV Event

Fox Nets Sets Retrans Deal With AT&T

AT&T has reached a new multiyear carriage deal with Fox Networks Group. The new pact will continue distribution of Fox programming across AT&T’s video platforms DirecTV, DirecTV Now and AT&T U-verse. The renewal includes Fox-owned TV stations in 17 cities and the 22 Fox-owned regional sports networks.

Dish’s Ergen Blasts AT&T Over Dish

Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen, long known for his free-spoken, sharp-elbowed management style, described the company’s carriage dispute with HBO as the result of “purely an anti-competitive play” by the premium network’s new parent, AT&T.

Judges Set For AT&T-TW Merger Appeal

The three-judge panel that will hear arguments Dec. 6 in the federal appeal of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner has been selected. Judges Judith W. Rogers, Robert L. Wilkins and David B. Sentelle will be on the bench in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to weigh in on the Department of Justice effort to undo the $85 billion deal.

WarnerMedia: DOJ Collaborating With Dish

AT&T Inc’s WarnerMedia has accused the U.S. Department of Justice of “collaborating” with Dish Network in a high profile dispute over carrying HBO and Cinemax.

Walmart, AT&T, Disney Join Streaming Fray

Over the past week, Walmart announced plans to partner with MGM Studios on original shows for Walmart’s video-on-demand service, Vudu, while AT&T’s WarnerMedia said it would create its own streaming service centered on HBO and Turner properties. Disney, meanwhile, is buying Fox’s entertainment businesses to beef up its planned streaming service , set to debut next year.

AT&T Restarts Ad Biz With Xandr

The new business unit has made its first sales rep deals with two cable operators — Altice USA and Frontier Communications — to aggregate and sell their national addressable TV advertising inventory.

AT&T Asks Court To Uphold TW Acquisition

AT&T on Thursday asked a federal appeals court to reject the Justice Department’s challenge to its acquisition of Time Warner, saying the government had offered no basis for second guessing key conclusions of a ruling upholding the transaction.

AT&T CEO: Move Money From Turner To HBO

AT&T Inc.’s boss  Randall Stephenson said the company may shift resources to HBO from other parts of its newly acquired Time Warner business to step up programming investments and use data on its customers’ tastes and habits to inform its content bets, part of a plan to compete with streaming giant Netflix.

AT&T Plans New Streaming Service

AT&T is developing a new streaming video service that will use the Warner Bros. catalog of TV shows and movies. “There is an amazing library of media and entertainment content that is really not being put to work, that’s available for direct-to-consumer distribution,” AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson said Wednesday.

AT&T Hints At HBO-Turner-Warner Bundle

AT&T owns a significant SVOD product in HBO Now, with its $15-per-month price point and more than 5 million subscribers. But the company may be looking at bundling it with other direct-to-consumer products.

AT&T’s Christopher Talks Streaming

AT&T recently completed its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, a deal designed to help traditional media companies compete better with nimble tech services such as Netflix. Soon after the deal closed, AT&T launched WatchTV, a $15-a-month streaming service that offers more than 30 TV channels, including Time Warner channels TNT and TBS. David Christopher, who runs AT&T’s wireless and entertainment businesses, talks about how people are consuming media and what role wireless companies play.

AT&T Closes Deal For Chernin’s Otter Media

The company, which was owned by the Chernin Group and includes video and streaming offerings, was sold in a deal that values Otter at more than $1 billion.

AT&T’s Troubling Plan To Change HBO

The telecom giant, which just acquired Time Warner, is seeking to drastically change the premium cable channel in order to compete with the likes of Netflix.

Discrimination Charges Enter Carriage Brawls

Over the last few months, disputes between programmers and distributors  have moved to a new level of conflict with allegations that institutionalized racism at large media companies is driving discriminatory business decisions. The latest involves Univision accusing AT&T of  refusing to pay the company’s Spanish-language stations retransmission fees on a par with its English-language network counterparts in a new contract with U-Verse.