Since purchasing DirecTV, AT&T has seen constant user loss. The loss could have been even worse than publicly reported, with a recent lawsuit accusing them of misreporting numbers. But, if we just look at the reported numbers, the company has lost 350,000 subscribers o er the past 2 quarters. Even DirecTV Now, the company's streaming service, has lost users ending in 1.5 million total. Because of this, AT&T is having to make hard decisions about the future of DirecTV.
According to reports, AT&T is considering selling or spinning off the division entirely. The most likely end result for satellite TV would be similar to satellite radio: a single company. As of now, it looks like DISH Network is interested in purchasing the company, its assets, and its users. This would make the combined DISH/DirecTV the only consumer-facing satellite television subscription service.
In reality, DISH is most likely interested in the contracts that the company has, plus their streaming infrastructure. Streaming television services are quickly creating a challenge for traditional cable and satellite television providers. Services like DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, and more, are becoming lucrative, and DISH Network might just be looking at entering that business.
If they purchase DirecTV, however, they will have one new challenger to contend with from AT&T's other media division: WarnerMedia. The service, which came to light last year, is thought to combine a number of WarnerMedia's big properties, including HBO, into a single service. A leak suggests the price will be between $16 and $17 per month.
While $17 per month might sound like a lot at first, it is important to note that HBO NOW currently runs $15 per month. If you simply add Cinemax to the mix, an additional $2 is a steal But, when you bundle in other WarnerMedia properties, such as Warner Bros. television and movies, the price gets even more reasonable. Of course, this number is just a rumor at this point, and things could change between now and the official launch of the service, which is expected in March 2020.