Does the pay-TV industry have a problem with criminal behavior by third-party installation techs? Do a Google search with the basic term "pay-TV installer," and you'll get a veritable rap sheet of recent crime reports by pay-TV customers involving installation contractors.
AT&T CEO John Stephens told investors that, on average, the carrier's roughly 6 million U-verse video customers pay $17 more each month for programming than those on the company's newly acquired DirecTV platform.
The FCC said it rejected a complaint against AT&T's DirecTV by a handful of local TV broadcasters centering on a dispute over retransmission fees. "We cannot conclude that DirecTV's conduct violated the good faith negotiation requirements," the FCC said in its recent ruling on the matter.
According to a fiery new lawsuit by a former employee, Starz allegedly asked DirecTV, Comcast and Liberty Media to "fabricate revenue and subscriber information" and to engage in other "malicious, fraudulent and/or oppressive" conduct.
A federal court in Western Washington has ordered DirecTV to distribute $395,000 in back pay to 147 installers.
AT&T has been training its broadband and U-verse IPTV installers to also install service for its DirecTV offerings, and early next month it plans on sending out into the market the first wave of technicians who can install all of the services.
AT&T reported net U.S. subscriber growth in the third quarter of 26,000 for DirecTV, as the company shifted focus for video service sales to its new satellite TV acquisition.
After getting hit with two class-action anti-trust suits over the summer, DirecTV and the NFL got smacked with another one Friday, with bars in Oakland, Calif., New York and Arizona filing a complaint in U.S. District Court in New York.
The diverging video strategies of Verizon Communications and AT&T will be on display this week as the companies' finance chiefs face investors. On the one hand, AT&T will have a chance to flesh out its plans to integrate DirecTV following the close of its $48.5 billion deal in July for the pay-TV provider. Meanwhile, Verizon is likely to discuss the early returns of its Go90 over-the-top mobile video service, which launched nationwide to all wireless customers earlier this month.
AT&T is revamping how it reports the results of its different business units, starting with its report for the third quarter, and is going to split up its wireless results into two different units – one for the enterprise market and one for consumers. However, it's unclear if the company will still also report total wireless subscriber metrics.