AT&T to lose 1.1 million TV subscribers

MnplsGopher

Active member
https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/09/att-expects-to-lose-another-1-1-million-tv-subscribers-this-quarter/

AT&T expects to lose about 1.1 million TV customers in the third quarter as it faces pressure from an investment group that says AT&T's increased focus on the TV business was a giant mistake.

In an update to shareholders yesterday, AT&T CFO John Stephens "said the company expects an incremental 300,000 to 350,000 premium video losses above the previous quarter's premium video results," according to AT&T. Since that's an incremental increase over the previous quarter's loss, that will amount to a three-month loss of more than 1 million TV customers.

In Q2 2019, AT&T reported a net loss of 778,000 subscribers in the "Premium TV" category, which includes its DirecTV satellite and U-verse wireline TV services. With AT&T expecting to lose that amount of subscribers plus another 300,000 to 350,000, the update to shareholders suggests the Q3 loss in the category will be between 1,078,000 and 1,128,000 subscribers. (An AT&T spokesperson confirmed to Ars that a projected loss of 1,078,000 and 1,128,000 subscribers in Q3 is accurate.)

...

AT&T's TV strategy was criticized this week in an open letter by activist investor Elliott Management Corp., which has a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T.

"Notwithstanding AT&T leadership's assertions that 'Pay TV is a very good, durable business' when the [DirecTV] transaction was announced, the pay-TV ecosystem has been under immense pressure since the deal closed," the investor firm said. "In fact, trends are continuing to erode, with AT&T's premium TV subscribers in rapid decline as the industry, particularly satellite, struggles mightily. Unfortunately, it has become clear that AT&T acquired DirecTV at the absolute peak of the linear TV market."

Elliott Management is also skeptical of the Time Warner buy. "[D]espite nearly 600 days passing between signing and closing (and more than a year passing since), AT&T has yet to articulate a clear strategic rationale for why AT&T needs to own Time Warner," the open letter said.

AT&T brings cable TV prices to online streaming with $135 monthly plan
Including debt, buying DirecTV cost $67 billion and Time Warner cost $109 billion.
 

MnplsGopher

Active member
Anyone here have DirecTV -- meaning a satellite dish attached to your house, and boxes on your TVs -- or the U-Verse TV service, which is like a similar thing to if you have TV through Centurylink (I think they call their service Prism)?


I did give DirecTV Now a try, a few months ago, and found that it had inferior quality and reliability to YouTubeTV, which has been excellent. And they added more channels recently (which was the only reason I tried DTV Now in the first place). It really is the best streaming service, in my opinion.
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

Over Macho Grande?
This has already been beat to death in one or two previous threads but I'll offer my .02 update.

After having DirecTV for almost all of the last 20-21 years, I finally dumped them about a month ago. Since AT&T took over, it's been a sh*tshow, and I told them just that. I went with Cox Cable, mostly because that's where I was already getting my internet and I got a great deal to bundle the cable package with maxing out the speed of the internet service.

I'm even tempted to dump AT&T for a cell provider for my company as well. Bad service is bad service, and it shouldn't be rewarded.
 

JimmyJamesMD

Active member
Anyone here have DirecTV -- meaning a satellite dish attached to your house, and boxes on your TVs -- or the U-Verse TV service, which is like a similar thing to if you have TV through Centurylink (I think they call their service Prism)?


I did give DirecTV Now a try, a few months ago, and found that it had inferior quality and reliability to YouTubeTV, which has been excellent. And they added more channels recently (which was the only reason I tried DTV Now in the first place). It really is the best streaming service, in my opinion.
I dont know why anyone would go with a dish unless they have to
 

howeda7

Active member
Anyone here have DirecTV -- meaning a satellite dish attached to your house, and boxes on your TVs -- or the U-Verse TV service, which is like a similar thing to if you have TV through Centurylink (I think they call their service Prism)?


I did give DirecTV Now a try, a few months ago, and found that it had inferior quality and reliability to YouTubeTV, which has been excellent. And they added more channels recently (which was the only reason I tried DTV Now in the first place). It really is the best streaming service, in my opinion.
I had to get it since my cable company dropped BTN. It's OK, but not as good as it was and way too expensive. I will drop it once Hulu/YouTube have all the local channels.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

Active member
I was a long time ATT cell customer, and I finally switched to Verizon and it's so much better.
Why do you like Verizon so much better?

I was a long time Verizon customer and switched to ATT 2 years ago, mainly because I could bundle it with DirecTV. What I could get with that bundle is far cheaper than if I paid for the same things through Verizon and Comcast together separately.

I'm out of contract now and moving again, so I have been debating on what I want to do with cable going forward. I have not had any issues with ATT as a cell phone provider, and actually get service in a lot of places my Verizon friends struggle.
 

Section2

Active member
Why do you like Verizon so much better?

I was a long time Verizon customer and switched to ATT 2 years ago, mainly because I could bundle it with DirecTV. What I could get with that bundle is far cheaper than if I paid for the same things through Verizon and Comcast together separately.

I'm out of contract now and moving again, so I have been debating on what I want to do with cable going forward. I have not had any issues with ATT as a cell phone provider, and actually get service in a lot of places my Verizon friends struggle.
My cell coverage with ATT was lousy. Even in highly populated areas, I'd have dropped calls. On road trips it was worse. I have much better coverage with Verizon, and it was slightly cheaper for me. ATT always sold me on grandfathering my since discontinued plan. Which I thought was great. But when I looked into it, it was no longer a great deal.
 

mplarson7

Active member
I have YouTube TV (albeit in Denver), and it has all the local channels here. Also has all the sports channels I need, including BTN. I've had it since March, been quite happy with it. It's saving me like $40/month over traditional cable.
 

MnplsGopher

Active member
I have YouTube TV (albeit in Denver), and it has all the local channels here. Also has all the sports channels I need, including BTN. I've had it since March, been quite happy with it. It's saving me like $40/month over traditional cable.
In Mpls, YouTube TV has all four major locals, plus two of the minor locals (45 and CW? I don't usually watch them). And I think every national sports cable TV channel that there is. Not just ESPN/2/U and FS1/2, but also our regional FSN North (Twins, etc.), CBSSN, NBCSN, BTN, SEC, ACC, Golf ... I really am surprised there are that many channels.
 

mplarson7

Active member
In Mpls, YouTube TV has all four major locals, plus two of the minor locals (45 and CW? I don't usually watch them). And I think every national sports cable TV channel that there is. Not just ESPN/2/U and FS1/2, but also our regional FSN North (Twins, etc.), CBSSN, NBCSN, BTN, SEC, ACC, Golf ... I really am surprised there are that many channels.
Yep. I also have the Tennis Channel, which is a requirement for me to have in an cable service ha. And the Olympic Channel, which shows a lot of world events for different olympic sports. I've actually found myself watching that more than I expected.

They added a bunch of channels in June that bumped up the monthly cost a bit...I wasn't happy about the price increase, but it is still way cheaper than traditional cable.
 

MnplsGopher

Active member
Yep. I also have the Tennis Channel, which is a requirement for me to have in an cable service ha. And the Olympic Channel, which shows a lot of world events for different olympic sports. I've actually found myself watching that more than I expected.

They added a bunch of channels in June that bumped up the monthly cost a bit...I wasn't happy about the price increase, but it is still way cheaper than traditional cable.
But a lot of those were very popular non-sports channels. Food Network, HGTV, etc. $50/month for three simultaneous streams, no BS fees, etc. and like 50-60 channels, is still a really good deal!

AMC, FX, TBS, etc. a lot of good channels that show movies, if you're lazy and just want to watch "something" for a while.


And I found out that a lot of the Roku apps let you sign in with your YTTV account, just like it was cable. So you can use those apps if there's something particular you want to watch on-demand.
 

mplarson7

Active member
But a lot of those were very popular non-sports channels. Food Network, HGTV, etc. $50/month for three simultaneous streams, no BS fees, etc. and like 50-60 channels, is still a really good deal!

AMC, FX, TBS, etc. a lot of good channels that show movies, if you're lazy and just want to watch "something" for a while.


And I found out that a lot of the Roku apps let you sign in with your YTTV account, just like it was cable. So you can use those apps if there's something particular you want to watch on-demand.
That too. And essentially get a DVR service with it, so you can go back and watch games that have previously aired. All it requires is an internet connection, so if you are traveling and have a laptop with you, you can login through a browser and watch whatever you want. It's pretty solid all around.
 
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