Just a few weeks after Comcast bought Time Warner Cable, telecommunications giant AT&T has agreed to purchase DirecTV, which would make it the telecom company a much bigger factor in the pay-TV market. When AT&T buys DirecTV, they’re expected to become the second-biggest pay-TV company in the United States, behind just Comcast/Time Warner Cable at under 35 million.
The estimated purchase price of $48.5 million happens to be more than Comcast reportedly paid for Time Warner Cable, which is still waiting to be approved by regulators.
It was just a few weeks ago that Comcast agreed to sell some of the cable systems they acquired from Time Warner Cable to Charter Communications. That would make Charter the second-biggest Cable TV provider in the country, leapfrogging Cox Communications and replacing Time Warner Cable.
AT&T, however, will now have more than an estimated 26 million Pay-TV subscribers, including their AT&T U-verse and DirecTV customers. This deal also has to get regulatory approval.
AT&T Buy DirecTV, But What’s Next?
With streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus affecting TV providers more than ever before, companies are beginning to jockey for subscribers. As networks begin to offer more access to their properties through online channels, Cable TV and Satellite TV providers are working to get more pieces of the Internet provider pie.
Speaking of the Internet, AT&T also plans to offer wireline broadband service of 6 mpbs at guaranteed prices for the next three years in areas where it’s offered.
Don’t be surprised to see more mergers and acquisitions like this in the coming years, as they try to figure out the changing media landscape. Today, AT&T buys DirecTV, but tomorrow, we could begin to see some of these major providers buy companies like Netflix, Crackle and Vudu.
Photo Credit: Mike Mozart