AT&T completes spinoff of its shrinking DirecTV unit

AT&T has completed its spinoff of struggling satellite TV provider DirecTV in a deal backed by private-equity firm TPG.

Earlier this year, the telecom giant announced the sale, which valued DirecTV and other satellite properties at $16.25 billion — a fraction of the $48.5 billion AT&T shelled out for it in 2015 under former chief executive Randall Stephenson. 

Under the deal terms, AT&T sold a 30 percent stake in DirecTV, AT&T TV and its U-Verse to TPG in exchange for $1.8 billion in cash, making DirecTV a standalone company. AT&T still owns a 70 percent stake of the satellite TV firm.

On Monday, DirecTV CEO Bill Morrow said the new company will have a “singular focus on video,” adding that it is “well positioned to bring unparalleled choice and value to all of our customers under one iconic brand whether they beam it or stream it.”

The CEO said his firm will focus on growing both its legacy satellite and streaming businesses. The new company will unify its streaming efforts under DirecTV Stream, which will be available through DirecTV’s streaming box.

DirecTV said it also plans to brand itself as a haven for sports fans, highlighting its delivery of live sports in 4K HDR, and its exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, the out-of-market NFL streaming offering which is expected to come up for renewal in the coming months.

DirecTV logo
AT&T sold a 30 percent stake in DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-Verse to TPG for $1.8 billion in cash.

The completion of the DirecTV deal marks the end of a flurry of dealmaking by parent company, AT&T, which under CEO John Stankey, has unwound several non-core assets, in order to focus on its core wireless business.

In December, AT&T sold its animé-focused streamer Crunchyroll to Sony for $1.2 billion, and in May it struck a deal to spinoff WarnerMedia in a $43 billion merger with Discovery.

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