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Thread: AT&T will eventually be broken up, analyst says

  1. #1
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    AT&T will eventually be broken up, analyst says

    What are your thoughts?!?

    https://www.fiercevideo.com/video/at...p-analyst-says

    AT&T has become a behemoth with substantial business interests in wireless, pay TV, media, entertainment and advertising. One media analyst predicts that the company will eventually be broken up.

    Craig Moffett, analyst and founder at MoffettNathanson, spoke with CNBC about how AT&T’s DirecTV unit was a “terrible acquisition,” and that “the wheels are falling off.” He also said that WarnerMedia already looks to be problematic in some areas for AT&T.

    “It’s hard to see that portfolio staying together forever. Somebody is going to come into AT&T eventually and whether it’s in three years, five years, whatever, they are going to break that company up,” Moffett said.

    He said that if there comes a day when AT&T spins off its WarnerMedia business to refocus on its core telecom business that Comcast/NBCUniversal could also split, and NBCU could potentially combine with WarnerMedia.

    “I think it’s fair to say that the companies that have diversified are not doing as well,” Moffett said, pointing toward both AT&T and Comcast as examples of where everything except the core businesses are struggling. He also said that Verizon, which is a primarily wireless company, posted “god awful” wireline results today. “The diversification strategies are not working.”

    Moffett’s comments about AT&T come after another troubled quarter for the company. AT&T on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings marked by net losses of 945,000 premium video subscribers from its DirecTV and U-verse businesses and another 219,000 subscribers to its AT&T TV Now streaming video service. The company lost 1.164 million video subscribers all together and a net 3.43 million traditional video subscribers in 2019.

    The WarnerMedia business also experienced a downturn during the fourth quarter, which AT&T attributed in part to forgone licensing revenue as the company gets ready to launch its HBO Max streaming service in May.

    AT&T's consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter totaled $46.8 billion, down from $48 billion in the year-ago quarter. Operating income was $5.3 billion versus $6.2 billion, which the company said was partly due to a $1.3 billion write-off of certain copper facilities.


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    Quote Originally Posted by shortyd999 View Post
    What are your thoughts?!?

    https://www.fiercevideo.com/video/at...p-analyst-says

    AT&T has become a behemoth with substantial business interests in wireless, pay TV, media, entertainment and advertising. One media analyst predicts that the company will eventually be broken up.

    Craig Moffett, analyst and founder at MoffettNathanson, spoke with CNBC about how AT&T’s DirecTV unit was a “terrible acquisition,” and that “the wheels are falling off.” He also said that WarnerMedia already looks to be problematic in some areas for AT&T.

    “It’s hard to see that portfolio staying together forever. Somebody is going to come into AT&T eventually and whether it’s in three years, five years, whatever, they are going to break that company up,” Moffett said.

    He said that if there comes a day when AT&T spins off its WarnerMedia business to refocus on its core telecom business that Comcast/NBCUniversal could also split, and NBCU could potentially combine with WarnerMedia.

    “I think it’s fair to say that the companies that have diversified are not doing as well,” Moffett said, pointing toward both AT&T and Comcast as examples of where everything except the core businesses are struggling. He also said that Verizon, which is a primarily wireless company, posted “god awful” wireline results today. “The diversification strategies are not working.”

    Moffett’s comments about AT&T come after another troubled quarter for the company. AT&T on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings marked by net losses of 945,000 premium video subscribers from its DirecTV and U-verse businesses and another 219,000 subscribers to its AT&T TV Now streaming video service. The company lost 1.164 million video subscribers all together and a net 3.43 million traditional video subscribers in 2019.

    The WarnerMedia business also experienced a downturn during the fourth quarter, which AT&T attributed in part to forgone licensing revenue as the company gets ready to launch its HBO Max streaming service in May.

    AT&T's consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter totaled $46.8 billion, down from $48 billion in the year-ago quarter. Operating income was $5.3 billion versus $6.2 billion, which the company said was partly due to a $1.3 billion write-off of certain copper facilities.


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    Att bit off more than they can chew. No way would I have anything postpaid from att now. They are desperate now and price increases will continue to come. Their TV decisions were bonehead and even warner isn't turning out like they had hoped.

    If their wireless numbers really start to erode things will get interesting. They can't afford to not raise prices but raise too much and people will start leaving in droves. Not saying the company won't survive but they are being run into the ground. They can't sustain on the current trajectory without price increase after price increase and that alone will push customers away.

    Att screwed up big with those buying sprees. The big question is what's the best way to recover with the least amount of wounds

    So yeah, att is stuck between a rock and a hard place and must dig their way out somehow

    Wireless will be their path forward. The other stuff probably needs to go

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    AT&T will eventually be broken up, analyst says

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur101 View Post
    Att bit off more than they can chew. No way would I have anything postpaid from att now. They are desperate now and price increases will continue to come. Their TV decisions were bonehead and even warner isn't turning out like they had hoped.

    If their wireless numbers really start to erode things will get interesting. They can't afford to not raise prices but raise too much and people will start leaving in droves. Not saying the company won't survive but they are being run into the ground. They can't sustain on the current trajectory without price increase after price increase and that alone will push customers away.

    Att screwed up big with those buying sprees. The big question is what's the best way to recover with the least amount of wounds

    So yeah, att is stuck between a rock and a hard place and must dig their way out somehow

    Wireless will be their path forward. The other stuff probably needs to go
    Well said. On top of all that is wasted money with things like DIRECTV NOW. Their DVR is still in beta after being released over a year ago and it still sucks, from what I read in Reddit. Start the company and then shut it down or purposely try to lose customers 2 years later. And then WatchTV... what happened to that??

    The only postpaid plans I have with AT&T are the $20 postpaid iPad plan and a grandfathered $20 Mobley plan. I’ll milk it while they still offer it to me.


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    Meh.....I don't know. I have services on both. Their wireless is continuing to improve and they provide abouth the best service overall for me where I travel with the fastest overall speeds as well. DirecTV, well I've had that for about 14 years and service hasn't degraded in anyway but my only complaint is prices keep going up. But hey, what isn't?? I would like to see them focused on wireless only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10mm View Post
    Meh.....I don't know. I have services on both. Their wireless is continuing to improve and they provide abouth the best service overall for me where I travel with the fastest overall speeds as well. DirecTV, well I've had that for about 14 years and service hasn't degraded in anyway but my only complaint is prices keep going up. But hey, what isn't?? I would like to see them focused on wireless only.
    Agreed. AT&T's wireless network in my area is top notch. VZW is miles behind and has been for years around here. It's like VZW doesn't even try. I've had DirecTV Now (AT&T Now) since they beta tested the service years ago. I like it.
    Your results may vary. Network performance differs per user location.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWX View Post
    Agreed. AT&T's wireless network in my area is top notch. VZW is miles behind and has been for years around here. It's like VZW doesn't even try. I've had DirecTV Now (AT&T Now) since they beta tested the service years ago. I like it.
    I used DTVNow for awhile. It helped that when I had ATT Postpaid there was a discount. But I finally went to Youtube TV since DTVNow didn't have local channels for my market, and YTV did.

    And while bundling can save you money if you were going to use the different services from the same company anyway (DTV or DTVNow, ATT postpaid), I don't like feeling trapped. What if Verizon has a better phone plan. Hassle of breaking things up. I used to have home phone/TV/internet through local cable company but now it is just the internet.
    iPhone 11 is my current primary phone. But I have more phones than lines. Back to only Prepaid with the changes in the economy.

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    I can see AT&T spin off or finding a suitor for DirecTV if it's true that DirecTV isn't doing that great and continues to drag AT&T. Companies either change their business model or end up with buyers remorse and when this happens, it's usually the under performing assets which gets sold.

    I honestly think that AT&T made a bad move with this purchase and should of stuck with its core competencies (telecom, wireless etc..) and not get suckered into the quad play business model. If they wanted to do this then maybe a minority stake in DirecTV would have been better so they aren't saddled with the costs of full ownership of DirecTV assets/liabilities and reduces their exposure to changing consumer tastes.

    I'm just afraid that once AT&T decides to sell DirecTV , that it will take loss.
    If AT&T can get out of the media business and return to what its good at, that's preferable for me.

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    I wonder if att just had kept investing in Uverse what the service could have been like?! Instead of spending billions on satellite TV, put that into the Uverse network and maybe bringing that into wireless (fixed wireless, 5G, etc). IMO Uverse was good when I had it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevink1 View Post
    I used DTVNow for awhile. It helped that when I had ATT Postpaid there was a discount. But I finally went to Youtube TV since DTVNow didn't have local channels for my market, and YTV did.
    I was a DTVNow subscriber from day one and while I enjoyed the discounted rate for putting up with some growing pains, a series of price hikes made it more expensive than many alternatives, but the service itself didn't get any better (DVR still in "beta," Fox Sports RSNs broken on live TV, regular outages). If they had been able to tighten things up and maybe find a happy middle ground on price, they would've had a customer indefinitely. Instead, the second (I think?) price hike a few years ago had me look at alternatives and Hulu w/Live TV has been what I'm using. Its price has gone up a bit, but generally works pretty well and we've had some channels added, so it feels like progress. The whole migration from a separate login to awkwardly shoehorning it into the myAT&T portal also didn't go smoothly.

    I get that things change and sometimes pricing isn't sustainable, but I'd guess a lot of people who got burned by the promise and then neglect of DTVNow weren't running to go sign up for U-verse or traditional DirecTV, and probably won't be interested in any future services.

    I'd love to see them get out of video, focus on building and maintaining a really good network (already mostly there), and continue the push into enterprise services.

    Quote Originally Posted by shortyd999 View Post
    I wonder if att just had kept investing in Uverse what the service could have been like?! Instead of spending billions on satellite TV, put that into the Uverse network and maybe bringing that into wireless (fixed wireless, 5G, etc). IMO Uverse was good when I had it.
    I had U-verse a few years back, too—enjoyed the lineup for the price and there was a point shortly after the DirecTV purchase that any retention/promos were geared towards migrating people to DirecTV. I knew of the long-term plans for U-verse and the technical limitations, but it was still disappointing since it wasn't bad. It seems U-verse is being run with a skeleton crew, and although it works (was at a friend's a few weeks ago and checked in on it), things like on-demand are rather sparse, and the channel lineup has lost some things.

    Obviously, DirecTV can be sold to just about anyone with a place to put a dish and a southern view of the sky, as opposed to U-verse being only in certain areas of AT&T ILEC markets, but it feels like another piece in the mishandled video strategy.

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    Not going to put up a long post, but agreed. AT&T wanted DTV for streaming; the streaming service did not take off how they wanted. In fact, they got bad press for adding DirecTVNow to people's accounts without authorization, in an attempt to show high sales figures. Both fraudulent signups and legit signups did not meet their expectations. They had this fantasy that they'd keep existing DirecTV customers (in the longer term) while getting rid of satellite service and changing them to streaming. They spent a lot for them, and didn't get the big boost they wanted. Had to use a dilbert-esque business term, but they got little to no "synergy" from buying them, so they just as well could spin them back off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecs0013 View Post
    I was a DTVNow subscriber from day one and while I enjoyed the discounted rate for putting up with some growing pains, a series of price hikes made it more expensive than many alternatives, but the service itself didn't get any better (DVR still in "beta," Fox Sports RSNs broken on live TV, regular outages). If they had been able to tighten things up and maybe find a happy middle ground on price, they would've had a customer indefinitely. Instead, the second (I think?) price hike a few years ago had me look at alternatives and Hulu w/Live TV has been what I'm using. Its price has gone up a bit, but generally works pretty well and we've had some channels added, so it feels like progress.
    Hulu TV would work for me now. If YTV does something to upset me, at least I have an option.

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    I still use TVNow, for the channels I get in the grandfathered package, it's considerably cheaper than cable and the alternatives.

    I've also been primarily using them for Wireless as Verizon's LTE just sucks when I travel around speed wise (yeah, pages *usually* load okay, but trying to download a file is just a PITA)

    AT&T's transformation will not be overnight, and if they can pull this off i'll be amazed.. but they WILL take losses for 5-6yrs (investors will hate it, but it's exactly how these things work)

    Give it time and let them trim some fat and see where they go. Now i wish they had been more serious about just going 100% FTTH and buying out a streaming provider to use as a platform instead of DTV but here we are, and rather than just take a lump loss, let's see what they can do over the next few years to get things in check.
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    Staying in ecosystem does have advantages if you are lucky/fortunate. I have AT&T Now and wireless. I score free HBO and loyalty discounts of $50. This along with two unlimited data cards in my plan makes me stay until the bitter end. Besides, the grandfathered tv plans are still dirt cheap when comparing them to cable. You can't compare them to other IPTV due to number and quality of channels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shortyd999 View Post
    What are your thoughts?!?

    https://www.fiercevideo.com/video/at...p-analyst-says

    AT&T has become a behemoth with substantial business interests in wireless, pay TV, media, entertainment and advertising. One media analyst predicts that the company will eventually be broken up.

    Craig Moffett, analyst and founder at MoffettNathanson, spoke with CNBC about how AT&T’s DirecTV unit was a “terrible acquisition,” and that “the wheels are falling off.” He also said that WarnerMedia already looks to be problematic in some areas for AT&T.

    “It’s hard to see that portfolio staying together forever. Somebody is going to come into AT&T eventually and whether it’s in three years, five years, whatever, they are going to break that company up,” Moffett said.

    He said that if there comes a day when AT&T spins off its WarnerMedia business to refocus on its core telecom business that Comcast/NBCUniversal could also split, and NBCU could potentially combine with WarnerMedia.

    “I think it’s fair to say that the companies that have diversified are not doing as well,” Moffett said, pointing toward both AT&T and Comcast as examples of where everything except the core businesses are struggling. He also said that Verizon, which is a primarily wireless company, posted “god awful” wireline results today. “The diversification strategies are not working.”

    Moffett’s comments about AT&T come after another troubled quarter for the company. AT&T on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings marked by net losses of 945,000 premium video subscribers from its DirecTV and U-verse businesses and another 219,000 subscribers to its AT&T TV Now streaming video service. The company lost 1.164 million video subscribers all together and a net 3.43 million traditional video subscribers in 2019.

    The WarnerMedia business also experienced a downturn during the fourth quarter, which AT&T attributed in part to forgone licensing revenue as the company gets ready to launch its HBO Max streaming service in May.

    AT&T's consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter totaled $46.8 billion, down from $48 billion in the year-ago quarter. Operating income was $5.3 billion versus $6.2 billion, which the company said was partly due to a $1.3 billion write-off of certain copper facilities.


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    AT&T will not be broken up and is not a monopoly at this time. We already had the Breakup of the Bell Systems. Assets can be sold if the right valuation came along but AT&T will definitely not be broken up.

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