May 1, 2014
Just months after Comcast announced plans to purchase Time Warner Cable, a new media marriage could be in the preparation stage. AT&T is interested in acquiring DirecTV, according to The Wall Street Journal. According to people familiar with the matter, a deal between the two companies would likely be worth at least $40 billion. DirecTV is the nation’s second largest pay TV provider after Comcast, while AT&T is the second largest mobile provider in the U.S. behind Verizon. Combined, they would rival Comcast-Time Warner Cable, a proposed merger that still needs regulatory approval. AT&T and DirecTV currently have an agreement through which the companies offer a co-branded version of DirecTV's satellite television service. In the 22 states where this is offered, AT&T provides residential broadband and voice service. The satellite service also sells AT&T's broadband services, including AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet to existing DirecTV customers. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is seeking to integrate a subscription-based Comcast streaming service in its future Apple TVs. If true, the move would grant users access to a range of Comcast channels for a monthly fee, making Cupertino’s set-top box even more of a fitting replacement for the traditional TV setup. Given the closeness between Apple and AT&T, perhaps a future Apple TV could also integrate with DirecTV. As a long-time DirecTV customer, I'd be very happy with this. What say you? See also: A Refresher: How Apple Should Spend Some Of Its Cash, Hulu To Begin Offering Free Content To Non-Subscribers On Mobile, and FCC Approves AT&T's Leap Wireless Purchase, Cricket To Offer Apple's iPhone 5.