AT&T Comments On a DIRECTV & Dish Network Merger




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Back in 2021, AT&T sold 30 percent of its economic stake in DIRECTV along with U-Verse and AT&T TV to TPG Capital to form a new DIRECTV. Since then, there have been talks and much speculation over DIRECTV merging with Dish Network.

There have been several attempts to merge DIRECTV and Dish Network in recent years. First, there were rising concerns about a monopoly being formed by the merger, which has been satiated by the rise of streaming services. There have also been questions about if DIRECTV would absorb Dish Network if the merger goes through if it is approved at all or if DISH would absorb DIRECTV.

AT&T’s CFO Pascal Desroches weighed in on the potential DIRECTV buyout of Dish Network at the recent Bank of America C-Suite Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Conference. 

“We separated from our satellite platform, and we have it in a construct where it’s been optimized by our partners at TPG. They really do a good job at optimizing that asset.”

He went on to say, “Before they would decide to do something with another party, whether it be Dish or somebody else, I think there is a daily well-defined bar that we have.”

Desroches isn’t saying AT&T would not consider taking an offer, but it would have to be an impressive deal for them to give up DIRECTV as an asset. “We are in a really good position with the asset. Would we look at other opportunities? We always do, that’s our job. But the bar would be pretty high in order to do something to try to accelerate more value creation.”

A merger between Dish Network and DIRECTV could help both companies drive up declining subscription numbers. DIRECTV is estimated to have approximately 13.1 million subscribers while Dish Network is reporting only 7.42 million. The combined efforts of the companies could help them keep up with the competition, both with other cable companies and streaming services.

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