In a sign of how quickly AT&T hopes to capitalize on its recent acquisition, the wireless provider has announced a plan for consumers that incorporates DirecTV’s television programming.
New customers who sign up for the package would start paying at rates of $200 a month — $160 for a basic phone plan with 10 GB of shared data across four lines and $50 for TV, and a $10-a-month discount off your bill for signing onto the plan.
AT&T is also offering other incentives to get people to switch, such as giving DirecTV subscribers a $300 one-time credit if they start buying AT&T’s cell service, too. And, as many expected it might, AT&T is making DirecTV’s programming available on mobile devices.
It’s clear from AT&T’s marketing what it really hopes new sign-ups will do: get more people using its cellular data network to watch bandwidth-intensive video. From the moment you walk out of the AT&T store with your plan in place, the company says, you’ll be able to start watching DirecTV on your phone or tablet, even before the technician arrives to install any equipment in your home.
AT&T wireless makes far more money off charging consumers for their data use, than selling them phone plans — a trend that is common in the wireless industry. Capitalizing on content is the big trend among Internet providers — whether it’s Comcast buying NBCUniversal in 2011, Verizon buying AOL or AT&T buying DirecTV.
AT&T’s $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV received regulatory approval late last month after a year-long review process.
The deal gave AT&T control of DirecTV’s 20.4 million customers, as well as the satellite TV company’s valuable NFL Sunday Ticket. In exchange, AT&T agreed to offer discounted high-speed Internet service to low-income customers and expand its broadband fiber network.