AT&T chooses DirecTV over Dish

AT&T, perhaps looking to head off speculation about its satellite TV plans after last week's extension of its resale partnership with Dish Network, has announced that DirecTV will be its sole satellite partner starting in February 2009. It may seem like a surprising choice, given that AT&T just extended the Dish arrangement and previously had stopped re-selling DirecTV in the former BellSouth region, but the carrier had maintained a stance all along that it was evaluating its options.

With the ongoing success of IPTV, it is not clear how much longer a satellite TV partnership will be important to the telco. It sells bundles that include satellite TV and has way more satellite TV customers (2.1 million) than IPTV customers (549,000, as of the second quarter), but IPTV has been closing the gap.

Meanwhile, as cable TV and telco TV players knock heads, and DirecTV benefits from ongoing partnerships with the big telcos, you have to wonder what will come of Dish Network. The company's parent, EchoStar, last year was rumored to be close to getting acquired by AT&T, and now Dish has no major U.S. telco partners at all.

For more:
- read this story at The Wall Street Journal

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