And then it just died. Comcast said it is ending its $45.2 billion bid to buy Time Warner Cable and create the nation's largest cable and broadband company. The decision to drop the deal likely clears the way for regulators to approve AT&T $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV.
AT&T announced Thursday the completion of the third largest corporate bond sale ever, $17.5 billion, to help pay for its $49 billion purchase of DirecTV.
AT&T experienced a slowdown of its U-verse pay-TV service in the first quarter. However, the company is still bullish on its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, which it expects to close in second quarter.
DirecTV and Quincy Newspapers have apparently resolved a business dispute that kept stations covering 10 Midwestern markets off the satellite service for much of Tuesday.
As AT&T prepares to report its first-quarter earnings later today, it could come under more pressure from investors to show financial progress. The pressure is coming at a time when AT&T is investing $18 billion to purchase AWS-3 spectrum, $48.5 billion to buy DirecTV and billions more to move into the Mexican wireless market.
Illinois-based Quincy Newspapers has blocked DirecTV from carrying broadcast stations covering 10 Midwestern markets, with the two sides unable to reach agreement on retransmission fee renewals.
DirecTV is shelving its highly successful TV advertising campaign starring actor Rob Lowe after the advertising industry's self-regulatory body sided with a Comcast complaint regarding the campaign's claims.
Nearly 10 months after it was originally proposed, AT&T's $49 billion purchase of DirecTV could be finally about to close. In a note to investors Monday, Morgan Stanley analyst Simon Flannery said the next few weeks will be "action packed" for the deal, and that its regulatory approval is "imminent.
Despite nascent consumer demand for 4K/Ultra HD, Netflix has been the most aggressive supplier on the programming end, driving up the already high cost of producing original series like House of Cards by shooting them in 6K, for example.
ATLANTA--AT&T will be in a much better position to renegotiate content licensing deals with content owners once it closes its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, according to AT&T executive Ralph de la Vega. AT&T's goal is make it much easier for consumers to get TV content on their smartphones and tablets without having to worry about whether or not they will be able to do so because of content rights, he said.