Back in February during DISH’s 4th quarter 2019 earnings call DISH was asked about a possible DISH and DIRECTV merger. According to DISH executives, it eventually makes sense for these two services to merge as the market changes. DISH’s CEO Charlie Ergen said that the merger of DISH and DIRECTV feels “inevitable.”
Now AT&T’s COO reiterated a desire to sell AT&T’s satellite TV service DIRECTV according to a report from Deadline. Yet John Stankey warned that is worries that getting regulatory approval for this deal is “a little unpredictable.”
Some seem to think this deal would go through. On September 30th 2019 Craig Moffett from MoffettNathanson Analysts said that if DirecTV and Dish came to an agreement about a merger, it’s likely that regulators would sign off on the deal.
“Satellite TV was growing by leaps and bounds at the time. Now it is in free fall. That alone may be enough to settle the debate; sure, two would be better than one, but both are credible bankruptcy risks on their own. Heck, they’d be a credible bankruptcy risk even together. Simply preserving an option for rural America at all would be the argument. And it would be a reasonably persuasive one,” wrote Moffet.
Currently, DISH and DIRECTV are moving toward the same fate as XM and Sirius satellite radio. At some point, the subscriber numbers between the two companies can’t support two companies but if they merge a single company could survive and offer TV to customers who can’t get a streaming service due to poor internet.
The question now is when will the two companies get to the point that a merger makes sense. Also, who would be the company to run this newly merged TV service?
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