The American operator ATT bought the DirecTV in 2014 for $ 49 billion, but sources from Wall Street Journal point out that it intends to sell the pay-TV division via satellite. In addition, this could solve some regulatory problems with Anatel; DirecTV owns the Sky in Brazil.
According to the WSJ, AT&T plans to divest DirecTV, whether by turning it into a separate company or even merging with Dish, a competitor that also works with DTH technology. However, according to the Reuters, this merger is not under discussion due to a series of regulatory impediments.
Since buying Time Warner for $ 85.4 billion, AT&T’s financial situation has not been good. In the second quarter of 2019, the operator accumulated debts of around US $ 162 billion, which makes Oi’s judicial recovery seem easy. In addition, in this period alone, the operator lost 778 thousand pay TV customers; it expects more disconnections in the next quarter.
Much is said about AT&T buying and “saving” Oi in Brazil, but this is highly unlikely considering the financial situation of the American operator.
Situation should ease merger between AT&T and Time Warner
Whoever buys DirecTV will solve an obstacle to the merger between AT&T and Time Warner (now WarnerMedia). Brazilian pay TV legislation prevents cross-ownership: according to the SeAC Law, a telecommunications operator cannot be a content producer and vice versa. The objective was to combat the monopoly of channels by the same operator.
However, when buying Time Warner, AT&T took along a conglomerate of channels, including Warner Channel, HBO, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Tooncast and TruTV. That is, Sky sells pay TV and is part of a group that produces content, something vetoed by the SeAC law. The American operator considered disposing of it, but there was no deal.
The validity of the concept of cross ownership has gained prominence in recent months due to a conflict between Anatel and Fox, which distributes its linear channels directly over the internet, without requiring a subscription to a pay TV plan. Among several resources, Justice has allowed the company to continue with the Fox + service.