att_directvAT&T sees its impending DirecTV acquisition as a means of expanding its addressable market for TV Everywhere and bundled services, said AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of Home Solutions Lori Lee in a question-and-answer session at Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference yesterday.

“We believe in the integrated carrier model,” said Lee.

Lee noted several times that when AT&T’s DirecTV acquisition is complete, AT&T will be in a unique position of having a nationwide or near-nationwide footprint for video and wireless. “We believe these things come together and will help customers have a very unique experience,” she said. “They will be able to see any content they want – whether entertainment or work-related – on any device. And they’ll be able to connect it to their home and to their car.”

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Currently one in three people who visit AT&T retail stores in the company’s local service footprint can get the company’s video offering, according to Lee. That percentage will go to virtually 100% assuming the DirecTV deal is completed this year as expected.

AT&T’s TV Everywhere video lineup currently includes 221 channels that customers can watch in their home and 133 channels they can watch outside of their home, Lee said. By “in the home” it appears that Lee meant “anywhere in the home” as the comment came in response to a question about Wi-Fi and Lee noted that the company is focused on enhancing Wi-Fi performance because “we want to be able to connect everyone in every room.”

She also noted that various TV Everywhere metrics, such as number of unique sessions and the length of time TV Everywhere is used, are “growing dramatically.”

Video programming will cost considerably less for AT&T after the DirecTV deal is completed. Currently 60% of AT&T’s video revenue goes to content providers, said Lee. But that percentage will drop post-acquisition because DirecTV pays 20% less for content than AT&T does.

Beyond the AT&T/ DirecTV Deal
Lee also shared several other interesting data points at the conference:

  • AT&T’s most popular triple-play package includes 300 video channels, 18 Mbps broadband and voice.
  • Amazon’s over-the-top video service is part of what Lee called AT&T’s “skinny bundle” that also includes local channels and a broadband connection.
  • The company will offer gigabit broadband in 17 markets this year.

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