For years we have talked about the possibility that DISH and DIRECTV would follow in the footsteps of Sirius and XM radio with a merger. Now, accounting to Reuters, AT&T is considering selling off or merging the DIRECTV satellite service with DISH.
AT&T has already made it clear they plan to no longer support the satellite service at some far-off distant time. Recently AT&T announced that they did not plan to launch any new satellites for DIRECTV. This means when the current satellites break down, they won’t be replaced. (Something that won’t happen for many years.) AT&T says they plan to slowly move all of their customers over to a new streaming service that is launching later this year.
AT&T has also been seeing a huge decline in DIRECTV subscribers. During the first quarter of 2019, AT&T lost 544,000 traditional pay-TV subscribers from its DIRECTV satellite business and its AT&T U-verse services. But AT&T still has 22.4 million TV subscribers as of April 2019. AT&T did warn that they expect TV losses to continue in 2019.
Just like with satellite radio, two services may not survive but a combined service could. There are still many parts of the United States where broadband is not an option and cable does not reach. For rural Americans, satellite TV is their best option. Yet that is slowly changing as new, far faster satellite Internet is in the works from Amazon and SpaceX, which could help millions of rural Americans join the streaming movement.
It is important to remember that these are early considerations. AT&T and DISH could hold talks only for a deal to never come together.
Would you like to see DIRECTV and DISH merge into a single company run by DISH? Leave us a comment and let us know.
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