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What AT&T-DirecTV deal means for consumers
May 19th, 2014
01:30 PM ET

What AT&T-DirecTV deal means for consumers

By Brian Stelter, CNN

If approved by regulators, AT&T's $49 billion bid for DirecTV would be the fourth-biggest telecommunications merger in history. So everybody has an opinion about it.

Sunday's deal announcement stirred enthusiasm, opposition and above all else curiosity about what the combination of AT&T (TFortune 500) and DirecTV (DTVFortune 500) could look like. The House Judiciary Committee immediately said that it would hold a hearing to scrutinize the deal.

In the short term, the deal is unlikely to affect either company's customers. But the long term is another story.

AT&T - like its rivals Verizon (VZFortune 500) andComcast (CMCSAFortune 500) - clearly wants to sell bundles of broadband and television that deliver on the promise of anything/anytime/anywhere programming.

FULL STORY ...

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Filed under: AT&T • DirecTV
May 19th, 2014
09:55 AM ET

AT&T and DirecTV strike $49 billion deal

By Brian Stelter, CNN

AT&T said Sunday that it had agreed to acquire America's biggest satellite television provider, DirecTV, in a deal worth almost $50 billion.

If approved by regulators, the acquisition will give AT&T a stronger hand in shaping the future of television distribution and consumption.

AT&T-DirecTV would be the country's No. 2 provider of television subscribers behind a combined Comcast-Time Warner Cable. Add it all up, and Comcast and AT&T would control more than half of the market for pay television.

"This is a unique opportunity that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens - mobile devices, TVs, laptops, cars and even airplanes," said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.

FULL STORY ...

 

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Filed under: AT&T • DirecTV
Weather Channel coming back to DirecTV
April 8th, 2014
04:07 PM ET

Weather Channel coming back to DirecTV

By Brian Stelter
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - DirecTV's bitter three-month-long dispute with The Weather Channel is over.
The channel will return to DirecTV lineups on Wednesday, the two companies said in a news release Tuesday.
Big cable channels are rarely blacked out by distributors, and when they are, the disruptions tend to only last for hours or days. But this one began in mid-January and seemed without end.
Read Brian's full story here.

Filed under: DirecTV • Weather
January 19th, 2014
01:17 PM ET

Weather Channel, DirecTV in stormy relationship

The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore and Barry Parr on the dispute between The Weather Channel and DirecTV that has led to the channel being blacked out in 20 million homes.


Filed under: DirecTV • Media • The Weather Channel
TV blackout wars in a quiet period
December 27th, 2013
01:05 PM ET

TV blackout wars in a quiet period

By Brian Stelter, CNN

The TV industry has a holiday tradition straight out of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas:" End of year feuds that lead to channel blackouts for viewers.

But this year, everybody is playing nice. (It's almost as if the hearts of television executives have collectively grown three sizes.)

At issue are the carriage fees that distributors like Comcast and DirecTV (the biggest cable and satellite providers in the United States, respectively) have to pay to carry cable channels. They regularly have to re-negotiate fees with programmers like The Walt Disney Company, which controls ESPN and ABC Family, and Viacom, which owns MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

Talks tend to get heated toward the end of the year - but evidently not this year. On Tuesday, Time Warner Cable and Viacom announced a deal a full week before the Jan. 1 deadline.

A number of other high-stakes negotiations have also been completed in recent weeks. An informal survey of industry representatives indicated that last-minute blackout threats were unlikely this New Year's Eve.

Distributors and programmers tend to keep their deals a secret - for competitive reasons and to cultivate a "no drama" perception in the industry.

Read more of Brian's article online here.

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Filed under: Comcast • DirecTV • Reliable Sources • Time Warner Cable • Viacom