future of directv

The days of DirecTV are numbered


In the future of technology, start saying goodbye to DirecTV.

It may not be sea today or tomorrow, but it could be soon. DirecTV owner AT&T admitted this week that it is no longer actively marketing the service, which has seen subscribers fall from 16 million to 16 million when the company bought it for $ 49 million in 2015.

AT&T will continue to sell DirecTV in "more rural or less dense suburban areas," said John Stankey, president of AT&T at an investor conference. "But in terms of our strength of labels and our momentum in the market, it will be specific pay-TV packages in software."

A saber, the new AT&T TV, opened a national level this week with negative reviews. "I recommend taking a pass," Edward C. Baig said in his USA TODAY review, due to high prices, the need to rent equipment and a two-year contract. Also, add some missing key programming, such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and the NFL games that sports fans crave on DirecTV.

DirecTV was reduced in 1994 as a way for rural clients received television entertainment in areas not covered by cable, but over the years it also expanded to urban centers.

The pitch: by installing a small satellite dish on the roof or outside the house, customers can get more channels and a clearer signal, with a strong emphasis on sports. In particular, "NFL Sunday Ticket", which offers "all live games" across the country in one place. The disadvantage: two-year contracts and equipment rental.

Phillip Swann, who blogs as "TV Answer Man" and covered the problems of DirecTV, was surprised by the new AT&T offer.

"This is all that people did not like about television in the last 10 years," he says. "Two-year contracts, rising prices and equipment rental. If this were 10 years ago, AT&T TV may require an opportunity. But not now."

The ease of streaming alternatives, from smart TVs that connect to the Internet to bring apps like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, or cheap streaming players like Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick, which sell for around $ 25, make that the need for equipment to rent a thing from the past

In fact, AT&T has its sights set on the transmission market, putting the marketing muscle behind the new HBO Max service that will be launched in May. It sells for $ 14.99 per month and includes originals and reps of shows like "Friends" and "The Big Bang Theory."

Swann believes that when the NFL deal expires in two years, AT&T will sell DirecTV or close it. A smart shopper has already expressed interest, Dish Network. Owner Charlie Ergen said a merger was "inevitable" in a recent earnings call.

The merger of the two services does not detect the tide of cutting the cable, which has hurt satellite companies more severely than the cable. In total, some 6 million customers left the satellite and cable in 2019, according to Wall Street analyst firm MoffettNathanson.

Dish lost 100,000 subscribers in the most recent quarter, compared to 1.1 million DirecTV. Currently, Dish has 9 million subscribers, plus 2.5 million for the alternative Sling TV cable transmission service. AT&T also has a streaming service, AT&T Now (formerly known as DirecTV Now), which has just under 1 million subscribers.

Swann believes that, together, Dish and DirectTV, with more than 25 million subscribers, would remain a force that could continue for several more years.

Meanwhile, what should consumers do?

DirecTV still stands. And if you have it now and have a contract, it will cost you money to leave, so stay there.

If you do not have a contract, you live in a rural area and the satellite service is considered, Dish is a cheaper alternative. It starts at $ 59.99 monthly for service on two televisions, compared to DirecTV from $ 49.99, but ESPN and other sports channels, Discovery and kitchen channels are missing. To get those and NFL Sunday Ticket, pay $ 66.99 per month, but only during the first year. It rises to $ 122.99 per month during the second year of the contract.
future of directv

The $ 59.99 Dish Network package does not go up in the second year and includes ESPN, Discovery and HGTV, which are missing from the basic DirecTV package.

If you can live without sports packages, try an antenna. They have become much more powerful than they used to be, with built-in tuners. Mohu, which manufactures the popular Leaf antenna, given that they capture signals up to 50 miles from the transmission towers.

You did not select the cable networks, but will pick up the transmission channels.

YouTube TV ($ 49.99), Hulu with Live TV ($ 55) and Sling TV ($ 30) are cable transmission alternatives that do not include equipment rental. But you will need to live in an area with a good Internet signal to work effectively.

Sport could be a big problem. YouTube TV recently said it would leave the programming of the regional channels YES Network (which includes the New York Yankees) and Fox Sports, but ended up making a deal for them to remain, almost.

YES Network is still abandoned, but YouTube ended up retaining 19 of the 21 regional networks. But in action missing teams of such high profile as Los Angeles Clippers, Kings and Angels.

Where can you see them yet? Hulu with Live TV and, ironically, the streaming service of AT&T AT&T Now, which offers the games while AT&T TV does not.

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