AT&T bundles wireless with DirecTV pay-TV services … again

A little over a week after closing its $49 billion takeover of DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV), AT&T (NYSE: T) has already debuted an asterisk-heavy bundled promotion that combines pay-TV and wireless services. 

The carrier's new so-called "all-in-one" bundle combines an AT&T wireless plan including up to four handsets and 10 GB a month of shared data with DirecTV satellite service, with DVR integration in up to four rooms. The offer starts at $200 for a plan that includes DirecTV's "Select" bundle, which includes around 145 channels and no ESPN.

The promotional rate, which yields $50-a-month in consumer savings, according to the telco, requires DirecTV's usual two-year contract. And after the first 12 months, the DirecTV packages shoot up to their standard pricing.

The bundle can also include AT&T U-verse pay-TV services instead of DirecTV in markets where AT&T offers U-verse video. Bundlers can also add U-verse broadband for an additional $30 to $50 per month, depending on the speed. The offer is available starting August 10. 

"We're going to deliver more TV and entertainment choices to more screens -- when and where our customers want it," said Brad Bentley, executive VP and chief marketing officer of AT&T Entertainment and Internet Services.

AT&T is billing the promotion as the first wireless and pay-TV combined offer. 

Well before it bought the satellite TV company (which created the largest pay-TV service in the U.S. with around 28 million customers) AT&T already had a long history of bundling DirecTV services with its own offerings. New and existing DirecTV customers were able, for example, to get $5 a month trimmed from their monthly bill by combining their pay-TV payments with their AT&T wireless bill. That was, however, not as signficant of a promotional offer in terms of price discounting. 

AT&T said right after it proposed buying DirecTV that it expected its enhanced scale to yield a 20 percent discount on programming costs down the road. It also has said it expects DirecTV's content deals -- which include the NFL Sunday Ticket package -- to be integral to its upcoming mobile video service.

For more:
- read this AT&T press release

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