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AT & T to go exclusively with DirecTV

Mon, 09/29/2008 - 8:45am
Brian Santo

AT&T finally got around to announcing it plans to continue its co-marketing relationship with DirecTV, the obvious and unsaid other half of last week’s announcement that it was extending its relationship with the Dish Network only until the end of January.

The company revealed its dealings with Dish last week in regulatory filings (story here).

Historically, SBC had done business with Dish, and AT&T with DirecTV. When AT&T bought SBC, the common expectation was that AT&T would eventually elect to do future business with only one of them.

AT&T customers who have already signed up for Dish, and any customers who sign up for the service through Jan. 31, 2009, will continue to get Dish after that date. AT&T will simply cease signing up new Dish Network customers from then on.

Moving forward, DirecTV now has co-marketing agreements with the three major incumbent carriers in the U.S. – AT&T, Qwest and Verizon. AT&T was Dish’s last partner among those three. After having been dropped by AT&T, Wall Street dinged Dish stock, which was trading between 3 and 4 points lower, or down about 14 percent, at midday.

AT&T is rolling out U-verse, but its U-verse coverage will cover a minority percentage of its total footprint for years to come. So AT&T will continue to rely on DirecTV to provide pay-TV service to the majority of its customers.

AT&T and Dish said their deal was a non-equity agreement. They provided no other details.

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