AT&T Nears Deal To Sell Large Minority Stake In DirecTV, U-verse

AT&T is nearing a $15 billion deal to sell a substantial minority stake in its DirecTV, AT&T TV Now and U-Verse business to private equity firm TPG, according to people familiar with the matter. A deal could be announced as soon as this week, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

Video Satellite TV Service Orby Stops Accepting New Customers

AT&T Takes $15.5B Charge On DirecTV — What Does It Mean?

Buyout Firm TPG In Lead For DirecTV Stake

Private equity firm TPG has entered into exclusive talks to acquire a minority stake in AT&T’s satellite TV division, DirecTV, in a deal that would allow the U.S. wireless carrier to trim its net debt of close to $150 billion, people familiar with the matter say.

NEWS ANALYSIS

AT&T’s Reluctance To Sell DirecTV Is A Red Flag

AT&T should take the lowball offer, streamline its business and learn from its mistakes.

Dish, Nexstar Resolve Carriage Impasse

Dish Network and Nexstar Media Group, the No. 1 U.S. owner of local TV stations, have resolved a carriage dispute that took 164 Nexstar stations and cable network WGN America off the air for more than three weeks. The deal was announced just after 1 a.m. ET on Friday, Christmas Day.

Dish Agrees To Tamp Down Hopper Claims

In an advertising claim version of “storage wars,” The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has recommended that Dish Network pull the plug on some claims about its Hopper 3 DVR’s superiority to that of others and the company has agreed to do so.

AT&T Disappointed With DirecTV Offers

AT&T’s attempt to unload ­DirecTV has been thrown into doubt, as the telecom giant has signaled it’s unhappy with the offers it has received for the struggling satellite TV service. Earlier this month, AT&T pushed back a deadline for final bids for DirecTV into January — and told prospective bidders it may cancel the auction altogether if it doesn’t get better offers, according to sources close to the situation.

AT&T Fields DirecTV Offers Over $15 Billion

AT&T received bids for its DirecTV unit valuing the satellite TV service at more than $15 billion including debt, with Michael Klein’s blank-check company among the bidders.

Dish’s Ergen On DirecTV Satellite Merger: Still ‘Inevitable’

A deal will happen, ‘whether it’s a year from now or 10 years from now,’ he says.

Churchill Capital Eyes AT&T’s DirecTV Stake

A blank-check company backed by former Citigroup Inc. rainmaker Michael Klein is among the parties interested in buying a stake in AT&T Inc.’s DirecTV satellite-television business, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Churchill Capital Corp. IV, which raised $2.07 billion in July, is working with advisers on a potential bid for the asset, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.

DOJ Shoots Down DirecTV-Dish Merger Again

Charlie Ergen’s dream of merging his Dish Network with AT&T’s DirecTV has been squashed by the Department of Justice — yet again. Regulators with the DOJ’s antitrust division recently informed executives of AT&T that a marriage between DirecTV and Dish would likely have to wait until faster 5G wireless service is more widely available in rural markets, two sourc­es close to the situation said.

AT&T Moving Ahead With DirecTV Auction

AT&T is pressing ahead with an auction of DirecTV — and it’s shaping up to be a fire sale. The telecom giant last week invited a handful of suitors into the second round of an auction of the struggling satellite-TV provider, even though first-round bids had valued DirecTV at well below $20 billion.

NFL, Dish Strike New Carriage Contract

NEWS ANALYSIS

DirecTV-Dish Merger May No Longer Make Sense

DirecTV Raises Monthly Base Price For New Subs

DirecTV this week has quietly dropped its cheapest advertised programming package, effectively raising the entry price for new subscribers by $5 a month. (The increase does not affect existing customers.) The satcaster used to offer a “Select” plan for new customers for $59.99 a month for the first year of a two-year agreement. However, the Select package is no longer available as an option for new customers at DirecTV’s website or via the 800-line customer service department. Instead, the lowest-priced plan is now “Entertainment,” which offers 160 channels for $64.99 a month.

AT&T Again Exploring A Deal For DirecTV

AT&T is taking a fresh look at its DirecTV business, according to people familiar with the matter, exploring a deal for a satellite-TV service wounded by cord cutting.

Ergen: DirecTV-Dish Merger ‘Inevitable’

Combining the two fading satellite TV operations isn’t a matter of if but only when, Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen says.

Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen Still Sees DirecTV Satellite Merger As ‘Inevitable’

In 5G Pivot, Dish Closes Boost Mobile Deal

Satellite TV company Dish Network says it has closed on its acquisition of the prepaid service Boost Mobile from T-Mobile, effectively making the pay-TV company the country’s fourth major mobile provider alongside Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Dish is now focusing its new investments on building out a 5G network as the satellite TV business continues to shrink.

Moody’s Downgrades Dish On Debt

Moody’s Investor Services downgraded Dish Network’s corporate family rating due to an overall need for capital to refinance and repay debt and deleverage the company as revenues shrink due to secular industry pressure on satellite and Sling TV.

DirecTV Keeps Fox In Local Channel Fight

AT&T has reached a multi-year deal with Fox to allow DirecTV to offer the network’s programming in approximately 12 rural markets where the satcaster does not provide local channels.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Why AT&T Might Not Sell DirecTV

Last week’s Fox Business report that “bankers” are saying AT&T needs to sell DirecTV because it’s an ‘underperforming asset’ certainly rings true. Since AT&T purchased DIRECTV in 2015 for $49 billion, the nation’s top satellite TV service has lost roughly five million subscribers. Making matters worse, the customer defections are dramatically increasing with each financial quarter. But there is one reason why AT&T might not sell. And it’s not because AT&T still sees value in the satcaster, which company executives suggest in half-hearted declarations to shareholders and financial analysts. No, the real reason why AT&T might not sell DirecTV is that no one might want to buy it.

AT&T TV, DirecTV Offer Free HBO, Epix, More

DirecTV Suffering Technical Outages

Struggling DirecTV Loses Another Top Exec

Dan York, who spent more than two decades with the company and was the face of DirecTV in the television industry, is leaving the company after two decades. AT&T on Thursday confirmed York’s planned March 1 exit.

DirecTV, U-verse Lower Prices For New Subs

DirecTV To Air College Football Championship In 4K

For Rural Viewers, Local News Is Anything But

An estimated 870,000 households nationwide receive at least one distant network affiliate’s feed from their satellite TV service providers because they don’t live close enough to get conventional over-the-air signals. With no local TV news stations and a dwindling number of newspapers, many rural Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to track local elections or government decisions that affect their lives.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Dish Exceeds Quarterly Profit Estimates

Dish Network posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, as the satellite TV service provider surprised Wall Street by adding more pay TV subscribers. It increased its subs by 148,000 in the quarter, compared with analysts’ estimates for a loss of 166,000, according to research firm FactSet.

DirecTV Rethinks NFL Sunday Ticket Deal

AT&T COO John Stankey questions the growth potential of the football package; says the longtime cornerstone could be “less critical to the business over time.”

Dish-DirecTV Merger Probably Won’t Happen

Dish Network’s chances of buying DirecTV could be about as remote as a satellite that’s orbiting the earth. That’s the take from sources close to Dish CEO Charlie Ergen, who say that in addition to regulatory stumbling blocks, the mercurial billionaire faces tough financial hurdles in acquiring his longtime rival.

DirecTV Sale Scenarios Heat Up

AT&T, which paid $49 billion to acquire DirecTV in 2015, has faced increasing pressure from investors to get the satellite distributor on a more promising path. This week, the notion that the companies could part ways has gained currency.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Jessell | Do Broadcasters Deserve A Bit Of C-Band Gold?

As owners of earth stations, broadcasters may be able to cut themselves in for a portion of the billions that satellite operators hope to get from the sale of some of their C-band spectrum to 5G wireless carriers. But I’d rather see the taxpayers get the excess proceeds.

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.

Dish Adds Ex-Fuse CEO Michael Schwimmer

The Future Of Satellite TV Is Unclear

Is satellite TV a dying business? The longtime main competitor to landline-based cable TV operators — as well as fiber-based telco services — is now being usurped by Internet-delivered services of TV networks and on-demand programming.

DirecTV Admits It May Not Keep NFL Sunday Ticket

DIRECTV Raises MLB Extra Innings Price

Dish Network CFO Swain Steven To Step Down