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  • Wed, Jan. 28, 1:18 PM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) is up 1% today after meeting EPS estimates lowered by a mobile price war -- while many investors looked past revenue growth and talk of business diversification to maintaining the company's high dividend yield.
    • The company committed to a lower capex of about $18B for 2015, and it notes a reduction in capex will bring a reduced trailing expense that will help with margins as well as free cash flow.
    • AT&T raised its quarterly dividend to $0.47 in December, good for a 5.7% forward yield -- which looks better if interest rates remain low or go lower.
    • AT&T "represents a tug-of-war between fundamental investors vs. income-oriented investors," says Morgan Stanley's Simon Flannery. "With the 10-year treasury bond at around 1.8%, AT&T is the highest yield in the Dow Jones."
    • New guidance is likely to come after the DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) acquisition closes sometime in H1 2015.
    • Previously: AT&T sees "continued" revenue growth and expanding margins (Jan. 27 2015)
  • Wed, Jan. 28, 8:41 AM
    • Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei says that the government will likely approve the giant media merger deals on the table -- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) with Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), and AT&T (NYSE:T) with DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) -- but the key issue will be what the firms are forced to give up.
    • "My bet would be that all those deals get done," Maffei tells CNBC. "What is the set of regulations or restrictions around them and what the acquiring companies have to agree to, that'll be the rub."
    • Liberty's interest in Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) is on his mind: "Charter has been an acquirer, is going to continue to be an acquirer" -- and Charter will have room to make buys if Comcast ends up swallowing TWC.
    • Previously: Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger review clock running again (Jan. 13 2015)
    • Previously: DirecTV hiking prices ahead of AT&T deal's closing (Dec. 29 2014)
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  • Tue, Jan. 20, 10:41 AM
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  • Dec. 31, 2014, 8:42 AM
    • Streaming: Sony (NYSE:SNE), HBO (NYSE:TWX), CBS (NYSE:CBS), and Dish Networks (NASDAQ:DISH) are set to unveil streaming products in 2015. The theory of the companies that the skinny bundles will draw in more cord-cutters and cord-nevers than they will cannibalize current pay-TV subscribers will be put to the test. The rush of streaming options could help or hurt Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) depending upon which analysis an investor leans on.
    • Theater traffic rebound: Exhibitors (CNK, RGC, AMC, CKEC, IMAX) and movie studios (LGF, VIA, VIAB, DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, TWX) maintain that the decline in theater attendance in 2014 (-6%) was due to a slate of films light on blockbusters. A bounce is forecast for 2015 with high-profile films such as Avengers: The Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Fifty Shades of Grey, Jurassic World, Spectre (James Bond), and Mission Impossible 5 all set to premiere - along with the reboot of the Star Wars franchise in December. Capex spending on theater upgrades could also help boost in-theater spending and average ticket price for exhibitors.
    • Mergers: If regulators allow the Comcast-Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and AT&T-DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) mergers to sail through it could clear a path for other media combinations, note analysts. Potential buyers include Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Wanda Group, Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY), and a TWX-rebuffed 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA). Content producers which could be targets include Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA), AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX), and Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI). A split-up Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) could also be enticing.
  • Dec. 29, 2014, 5:23 PM
    • Effective Feb. 5, DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) will respectively raise the monthly baseline prices for its Entertainment, Xtra, Ultimate, and Premier packages by 3.5%, 5.5%, 6%, and 5.4% to $59.99, $79.99, $86.99, and $136.99. In addition, DirecTV has hiked its per-device fee for connected TV sets and set-tops by $0.50 to $6.50/month, and its surcharges for regional sports networks by up to $2.14/month.
    • The average price hike is bigger than last year's 3.7%. As one would expect, DirecTV, which has hiked prices every year for the last decade, blames higher programming costs. The satellite provider is less than a week removed from announcing a new multi-year deal with Disney/ESPN that covers online access. Like peers, it has had public disputes with network owners over carriage fees.
    • AT&T (NYSE:T), which expects to close its acquisition of DirecTV in 1H15, has argued the acquisition will lower U-verse content costs by at least 20%, as a result of having more scale. The company has also promised to keep offering DirecTV's services on a standalone basis at "prices that are the same for all customers" for at least three years following the deal's closing.
  • Dec. 23, 2014, 4:16 PM
    • DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and Disney (NYSE:DIS) sign a widely-anticipated multi-platform deal.
    • The deal will give DirecTV subscribers wide access to Disney, ESPN, and ABC shows on linear TV and through the company's Watch service.
    • Disney content will also be available for VOD purchase.
    • Previously: Pay-TV contract talks intensify (Dec. 22)
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  • Dec. 22, 2014, 1:39 PM
    • DirecTV (DTV +0.7%) and Disney (DIS +1.3%) remain in negotiations over a long-term contract, almost three months after the expiration of a 10- year deal.
    • The role of TV Everywhere is major focus of talks between the two media companies.
    • Though no blackout of Disney channels on DirecTV is expected in the dispute, it's a different story with Dish Networks which pulled the plug on Fox News and Fox Business Network amid a contract scuffle.
  • Dec. 22, 2014, 12:11 PM
    • DirecTV (DTV +0.8%) launches a new online subscription service aimed at a Hispanic audience in the U.S.
    • The OTT package is one of the company's first steps outside the pay-TV ecosystem.
    • The company is partnering with Univision and Viacom on the project.
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  • Dec. 19, 2014, 12:42 PM
    • DirecTV (DTV +0.1%) says subscribers will have access to the TV Everywhere offerings from Fox Networks (NASDAQ:FOXA).
    • Beginning in January, DirecTV Everywhere will also include VOD content from Fox.
    • DirecTV's strategy to offer streaming services from within the TV Everywhere platform differs from satellite rival Dish Network which is going with an OTT product.
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  • Dec. 17, 2014, 11:32 AM
    • Dish Network (DISH +0.6%) says Netflix might be integrated into the company's upcoming streaming subscription product and be part of its search functions.
    • The OTT programming package from the satellite company is set to include Disney Channel, Disney XD, ESPN, ABC, A&E, History, Lifetime, H2, HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, and Travel Channel among other networks. Netflix access will require authentication.
    • What to watch: Media analysts think other online TV ventures will face more pressure to include Netflix (NFLX +3.6%) after Dish made its move. There could also be an impact on pay-TV operators (CHTR, CVC, TWC, CMCSA, DTV) if Netflix gets insides their boxes to cut into VOD revenue.
    • Previously: Dish Network brings Netflix into the box
  • Nov. 25, 2014, 1:40 PM
    • An exec with DirecTV (DTV +0.5%) says the company could integrate a partnership with a daily fantasy sports operator such as FanDuel or DraftKings into its NFL Sunday Ticket package.
    • The two daily fantasy leagues have shown explosive growth over the last couple of years
    • A fantasy initiative could help DirecTv offset the $1.5B per season that it will pay for Sunday Ticket beginning next season.
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  • Nov. 14, 2014, 1:41 PM
    • Pay-TV operators lost about 149K subscribers in Q3 to represent the industry's worst performance ever for the period, according to data compiled by Leichtman Research Group.
    • The mark is slightly better than the 179K subs loss that Moffett Nathanson forecast.
    • Based on seasonal trends, Leitchman forecasts a small increase in subscriber growth for Q4.
    • Cable/satellite/telco Q3 sub scorecard: Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) -81K, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) -182K, Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) -24K, Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) -56K, Suddenlink +2.2K, Mediacom -19K, Cable ONE -14.1K, DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) -28K, Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) -12K, AT&T +216K, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) +114K, Others/Private -65K.
    • Based on seasonal trends, Leitchman forecasts a small increase in subscriber growth for Q4.
    • Related: Seismic changes coming for pay TV
  • Nov. 13, 2014, 8:46 PM
    • Sony's (NYSE:SNE) new online TV package will price at $60 to $70 per month, estimates Re/code.
    • It's a level that is twice what Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) plans to charge for a slimmer package, although one that includes ESPN.
    • Programming on the Sony streaming service will feature shows from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBC, Scripps Networks, and Viacom.
    • The pitch from the Japanese media giant is that cord-cutters will be drawn in by the captivating way of accessing the content through gaming consoles. A cutting-edge discovery and recommendations service for users is also highlighted by execs.
    • Regulatory watch: Potential rule changes from the FCC could level the playing field for the new streamers as they work out their content deals.
    • What to watch: A fragmented pay-TV landscape could benefit content producers (DISCA, CBS, FOXA, DIS, LGF, TWX, AMCX) in the short-term as competition heats up, while creating a pricing headache for cable/satellite/telco players (CMCSA, CVC, CHTR, DISH, T, DTV, VZ, TWC).
    • The Netflix factor: Many media analysts consider Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) an add-on for consumers - instead of an either/or decision with online TV.
  • Nov. 13, 2014, 2:17 PM
    • DirecTV (DTV +0.2%) will be the first pay-TV major to offer 4K UltraHD content to its subscriber base beginning tomorrow.
    • 19 films from Paramount Pictures and K2 Communications will be available initially in the format.
    • The company tipped off during its earnings conference call last week that 4K channels will be introduced in 2015.
    • Samsung (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) is a partner with DirecTV on the UHD initiative.
    • DirecTV earnings call transcript
  • Nov. 7, 2014, 4:22 PM
    • Iusacell has 8.6M Mexican mobile subs, and a 3G network that covers 70% of the country's population (120M). AT&T (NYSE:T) is paying $2.5B in cash to buy Iusacell from parent Grupo Salinas, after accounting for debt. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2015.
    • AT&T highlights Mexico's relatively low mobile/smartphone penetration rates while discussing the deal, as well as synergies with its U.S. mobile ops and recent regulatory moves meant to loosen America Movil's (NYSE:AMX) market dominance. AT&T was previously believed to be interested in Mexican assets AMX is looking to sell to appease regulators.
    • AT&T "plans to expand Iusacells network to cover millions of additional consumers and businesses in Mexico." At the same time, AT&T won't be acquiring Iusacell's Total Play pay-TV/wireline broadband business. DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), which AT&T is set to acquire, owns 41% of local satellite TV provider Sky Mexico.
    • Separately, AT&T has set a 2015 capex budget of $18B, down from 2014's $21B. The carrier declares its Project VIP network expansion project to be ahead of schedule, with the 4G expansion part largely complete.
    • T +0.7% AH. AMX -0.6%.
  • Nov. 6, 2014, 10:12 AM
    • DirecTV (DTV -0.4%) grew its average revenue per user by 4.8% to $107.27 in the U.S. during Q3.
    • The company's overall operating margin dipped as a gain on the U.S. side was offset by a decline for the Latin American business.
    • Gross subscriber additions +1.02M vs. +1.11M a year ago.
    • The headline item from the report might be the net loss of 28K TV subscribers for the company in the U.S.
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Company Description
DirecTV is a provider of digital television entertainment in the United States and Latin America. It operates two direct-to-home, or DTH, business units: DIRECTV U.S. and DIRECTV Latin America.
Sector: Services
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States