AT&T is making good on its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV with its first joint service offering: Duo-play packages that bundle satellite TV and other services with mobile-phone plans, with access to TV Everywhere.
These “all-in-one” packages will make TV the star, leveraging the fact that the AT&T-DirecTV combined entity is now the largest pay-TV provider in the US, with about 26 million combined subs.
A $200-per-month bundle includes DirecTV HD and DVR service for up to four set-tops, plus unlimited talk and text for four wireless lines and 10 Gigabytes of shared wireless data usage. The differentiators is that DirecTV subs will have access to TV programming on their mobile devices via the satellite provider’s app. The bundle represents a $50 monthly discount for 12 months, after which regular rates will apply.
The company is also launching standalone TV service, with DirecTV and U-verse TV packages starting at $50 per month (with up to four HD DVR receivers) for the first 12 months.
“We’re going to deliver more TV and entertainment choices to more screens – when and where our customers want it,” said Brad Bentley, CMO of the newly formed AT&T Entertainment and Internet Services, which encompasses the DirecTV business.
Customers within the AT&T U-verse footprint can choose comparable U-verse IPTV plans in the 21 states where AT&T offers its fiber-fed TV.
AT&T says that reps at its more than 2,000 retail stores across the U.S. are selling the bundles.
AT&T officially closed DirecTV merger in late July. At the time, CEO Randall Stephenson talked up the consumer benefits in bundling services.
"Combining DirecTV with AT&T is all about giving customers more choices for great video entertainment integrated with mobile and high-speed Internet service," he said. "We'll now be able to meet consumers' future entertainment preferences, whether they want traditional TV service with premier programming, their favorite content on a mobile device, or video streamed over the Internet to any screen.”
He added, "This transaction allows us to significantly expand our high-speed Internet service to reach millions more households, which is a perfect complement to our coast-to-coast TV and mobile coverage," Stephenson added. "We're now a fundamentally different company with a diversified set of capabilities and businesses that set us apart from the competition."
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