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AT&T’s Spin Off of DirecTV Is Now Certain

DirecTV Sale
DirecTV Dish. Image: Creative Commons.

AT&T, following a months-long process, announced earlier this year that it had agreed to spin off DirecTV into a separate company, through a deal in which TPG will acquire about a third of the new company.

Last week, AT&T said in an official filing that the deal is set to close very soon.

“The company expects the DIRECTV/TPG transaction to close in the next few weeks, which will impact certain aspects of guidance,” AT&T said in its 2021 outlook, as cited by TV Answer Man. Following the deal, AT&T expects “revenues to be lower by $9 billion, EBITDA to be lower by $1 billion and free cash flow  to be lower by about $1 billion, equating to $26 billion for the year.”

“Post-close, the cash generated by DIRECTV will be used, among other things, for DIRECTV’s capital expenditures and working capital needs, debt financing obligations, cash coupon on TPG senior preferred, and tax distributions to AT&T and TPG. Excess cash will be used for debt repayment and dividend distributions,” the company continued.

The FCC has officially approved the transfer of DirecTV’s satellite licenses to the “New DirecTV,” Bloomberg reported.

Meanwhile, Streaming Clarity provided a look at what the new DirecTV might look like. The service now known as AT&T TV is now likely to be rebranded as DirecTV Stream.

“After starting off as DirecTV Now and then transitioning to AT&T TV Now before eventually being absorbed by AT&T TV, references to the DirecTV Stream name were recently visible on the AT&T website,” the report said. “While those references were mostly noted through cached pages, a “DirecTV Stream” trademark was filed with the USPTO by DirecTV late last year, and shortly before AT&T announced it was spinning its various TV businesses off into a new company – New DirecTV.”

The report also said that the new service will likely use the slogan “Get Your TV Together,” which was a trademark registered by AT&T back in April.

Meanwhile, Dish Network and AT&T recently announced a deal in which Dish will pay AT&T more than $5 billion over ten years to make AT&T Dish’s wireless network provider, as part of Dish’s pivot towards 5G networking.

“Through this agreement, DISH will provide current and future customers of its retail wireless brands, including Boost Mobile, Ting Mobile and Republic Wireless, access to best-in-class coverage and connectivity on AT&T’s wireless network, in addition to the new DISH 5G network,” the announcement said.

Dish and DirecTV were long rumored to merge, but the deal with AT&T does not involve anything like that.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

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