With the top four pay-TV services seeking regulatory approvals to combine into just two companies, the major media conglomerates are seriously pondering their own unions to offset what could be an advantage in bargaining power.
Kicking the tires on AT&T's claims to federal regulators last week that its proposed purchase of DirecTV will result in all kinds of consumer price benefits through bundled services, analyst Craig Moffett told investors Monday that AT&T has a "fundamental misunderstanding" of bundling economics.
Giving further shape to the regulatory gauntlet the proposed AT&T/DirecTV merger will have to run, the Senate Judiciary committee announced Friday that it will hold a hearing on the matter June 24.
The top House Republican on telecom issues Wednesday said there are no plans to hold hearings on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable and AT&T-DirecTV mergers, giving these proposed pay-TV industry mega-weddings one less key regulatory hurdle to overcome.
Selling the Federal Communications Commission on its proposed $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV in a regulatory filing Wednesday, AT&T promised lower pay TV prices, greater broadband availability in rural areas and extended compliance with 2010 net neutrality legislation.
Calling the relationship between cable providers and their customers a "soup of misery," a management consulting firm says subscriber dissatisfaction with cable service has reached an all-time high, with 53 percent of surveyed consumers saying they'd ditch their service if they had more choices.
AT&T's management thinks it might be able to offer DirecTV's National Football League Sunday Ticket service to its wireless customers, according to analysts who attended a meeting with the company. The possibility is being floated as AT&T prepares to try to get the company's proposed $49 billion deal for DirecTV approved by regulators.
Amid the avalanche of coverage for the proposed $49 billion takeover of DirecTV by AT&T over the last two weeks, the satellite pay-TV service's infiltration into the Latin American market has been largely an afterthought.
Time Warner Cable is simply demanding too much licensing money for its new SportsNet LA regional sports channel, and a lynchpin deal with DirecTV likely won't occur during the initial focal point of the new outlet, the 2014 Dodgers baseball season.
AT&T told the federal government Tuesday that its proposed acquisition of DirecTV will give it the leverage it needs to cut spiraling program costs by 20 percent.