AT&T buying Quickplay to support upcoming DirecTV streaming offers

AT&T (NYSE: T) today announced it's buying OTT and TV Everywhere specialist Quickplay to support the upcoming launch of its DirecTV streaming services.

AT&T, which is buying Quickplay from Madison Dearborn Partners, did not disclose financial terms of the deal but did reveal it expects the transaction to close by mid-2016. AT&T will keep on Quickplay's 350 employees and contractors after the transition.

Quickplay's platform is already in use with AT&T U-verse TV Everywhere product and the company's multitenant IP distribution infrastructure will be used in scaling DirecTV Now, DirecTV Mobile and DirecTV Preview.

"Quickplay's multitenant IP distribution infrastructure, combined with AT&T's leading scale in IP connected end points, will allow us to host and distribute all forms of video traffic. We intend to scale and operate an industry-leading video distribution platform, and viewers will get the high-quality online video viewing experience they desire," said John Stankey, CEO of the AT&T Entertainment Group, in a statement.

"With AT&T, we'll have the resources we need to further scale, grow the business, and continuously enhance that platform," added Wayne Purboo, founder and CEO of Quickplay.

The deal gives AT&T an important content delivery piece to go with its network and content deals as the MSO prepares to launch its streaming TV products.

In March Stankey said the upcoming DirecTV products will be aimed toward the 20 million broadband users in the U.S. that don't currently subscribe to a pay-TV service. He also provided a sketched-in outline for the services.

DirecTV Now will be "rich bundle of content," not a skinny bundle. "We think skinny bundles have a very small application in the market over time," Stankey said. "My skinny bundle is very different than my wife's. This is about getting to a middle road, where we're not investing heavily in CPE, and we don't have the same dynamics [as a traditional satellite service] in terms of credit risks."

For more:
- see this press release
- see this Variety article

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