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HomeEntertainmentAT&T CEO Refuses to Disclose DirectTV Merger Possibilities with Dish

AT&T CEO Refuses to Disclose DirectTV Merger Possibilities with Dish


AT&T CEO John Stankey chose not to pursue options for DirecTV to merge with Dish Networks amid ongoing speculation about a partnership with the declining satellite TV operators.

“I’ve never really commented on my take on what the calculus is and the combination of DirecTV and Dish, and I don’t expect to today,” Stankey said during an analyst call after he released his company’s first quarter . income. The AT&T chief was asked to comment on whether Dish Network has become a “distressed security” in the stock and bond markets, and whether that has changed AT&T’s strategy about a potential link between Dish and DirecTV.

Stankey instead put the question to Dish Networks chairman Charlie Ergen, who has long said a potential merger was “inevitable.”

“As for your commentary on Dish, I don’t necessarily want to dictate your characterization. I’m sure Charlie isn’t forcing them,” Stankey added, before suggesting the analyst approach Ergen directly about merger scenarios. “I think Charlie has been the one who has largely commented on that, he certainly has a right to do that. So he might be a better person to ask given the circumstances. He’s probably much more intimate with his business than I am.’

A much-publicized merger of the two satellite TV operators is expected to help them better compete with cable companies and others in the streaming space.

As part of its first-quarter results, AT&T reported $900 million in adjusted equity in net income from DirecTV, the satellite television giant previously established as a standalone video-centric entity in a deal backed by private equity firm TPG. .

That lower contribution from the past quarter compares to DirecTV’s $1.3 billion payouts for the first quarter of 2022. AT&T is responsible for its investment in DirecTV, in which it owns 70 percent of the company, as equity, while TPG has a 30 percent interest.

After spun off WarnerMedia to create Warner Bros. Discovery, Stankey did not answer any questions or discuss the analyst call with the Hollywood studio’s revamped Max streaming service, as it combines programming from both the original HBO Max streaming service and Discovery+.

Commenting on analysts, the head of AT&T focused instead on connectivity, and specifically his company’s 5G cordless and broadband offerings after the telecom giant spun off its media assets.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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