Verizon has extended its offer to keep bundling AT&T's DirecTV service in markets in which it doesn’t have FiOS pay-TV services.
Verizon rep John Johnson confirmed to FierceCable that the DirecTV triple-play offer, originally set to expire in October, has actually been extended to December.
“We’ve had DirecTV as a long-standing partner offering video generally in our copper markets where FiOS isn’t available,” Johnson said. “Our relationship with them is on the TV/landline side of the business, and we jointly bill the DirecTV service when we sell it.”
More than 15 months after AT&T closed its $48.5 billion purchase of DirecTV, Verizon is bundling various DirecTV programing tiers in select copper markets with broadband products that max out at 15 Mbps and its “Regional Essentials” and “Freedom Essentials” voice calling, for prices ranging from $74.99 to $99.99.
The Verizon page promoting the offer said over the summer that it expires in October, which seemed a fitting wind-down for a long-term distribution deal signed before AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV.
The page now says, however, that the offer expires in December. Johnson didn't reveal when Verizon's deal with AT&T that enables the offer expires.
AT&T has made DirecTV the focal point of its primary corporate strategy – deploying video to drive network usage, a plan that is hardly dissimilar to Verizon’s playbook. AT&T, of course, just made another play to take the strategy to a whole other level, offering to pay $85.4 billion to buy Time Warner Inc.
Even at this competitively critical moment in wireless history, however, the need to establish triple-play bundling appears to supersede broader corporate rivalry.
Explaining its thinking to FierceWireless over the summer, Verizon said in a statement, “We want to offer customers choices for broadband and video services. Things are changing rapidly in the video and pay TV arenas, but one thing is certain: Customers continue to demand more bandwidth on wired and wireless networks. No one is better positioned to provide that than we are. Even with the growth in over-the-top video, customers still find value in pay-TV and service bundles. In fact, the highest percentage of our FiOS sales come from triple play bundles of data, video and voice.”
UPDATED: This story was updated to clarify that Verizon extended its DirecTV triple-play offer, not the deal with AT&T that enables it.