AT&T Clinches DirecTV Deal

John Stankey to Lead New Unit, Mike White to Retire
ATT-DirecTV clinch 400x300.jpg

Moments after receiving the FCC’s condition-filled blessing, AT&T announced Friday that it had closed its acquisition of DirecTV, creating a pay TV provider with north of 26 million customers in the U.S. and 19 million subs in Latin America.

And the closure came with a big executive announcement -- John Stankey will be CEO of AT&T Entertainment & Internet Services, where he’ll head up the combined DirecTV and AT&T Home Solutions operations, and report to AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson.

Additionally, DirecTV president, chairman and CEO Mike White announced his plans to retire.

“Mike is one of the world’s top CEOs and a great leader who built DIRECTV into a premier TV and video entertainment company spanning the U.S. and Latin America,” Stephenson said in a statement. “He has been a terrific partner and friend, and his legacy will be an important part of our combined company.”

AT&T also talked up the multiscreen and mobile video implications of the deal, noting that it will launch a launch new integrated TV, mobile and high-speed Internet offers “in the coming weeks.” AT&T is also pushing ahead on OTT via Otter Media, its joint venture with The Chernin Group.

Expanding on its conditions and commitments tied to the merger, AT&T said it will not favor its own online video programming services, but said it will continue to offer discounted integrated bundles of its video and broadband packages.

“Combining DIRECTV with AT&T is all about giving customers more choices for great video entertainment integrated with mobile and high-speed Internet service,” Stephenson said in a statement. “We’ll now be able to meet consumers’ future entertainment preferences, whether they want traditional TV service with premier programming, their favorite content on a mobile device, or video streamed over the Internet to any screen.”

AT&T also posted an FAQ about the deal here, telling DirecTV and AT&T U-verse subs that their existing TV services, including current channel lineups, won’t change as a result of the deal.

But NFL Sunday Ticket is still only available to DirecTV subs due to contractual limitations.

AT&T said it will also offer discounted broadband service to DirecTV subs in the coming weeks, and that it will offer “promotional rates” to customers who want to switch to DirecTV from cable.