AT&T’s Second Quarter Results Call coming up

You gotta love AT&T’s press releases. First of all they tend to come way, way in advance. Second, they don’t spend a lot of time with flowery language or extra details. Nope, they’re simple, to the point, and give you plenty of time to plan. Here’s the latest example:

AT&T Inc.* (NYSE: T) announced today that the company’s second-quarter 2019 results will be released before 7 a.m. ET on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. At 8:30 a.m. ET the same day, AT&T will host a conference call to discuss the results. The company’s earnings release, Investor Briefing and related materials will be available at AT&T Investor Relations.

A live webcast of the call will also be available at AT&T Investor Relations, and the webcast replay will be available until September 30, 2019.

Not a lot more to that, is there? Truth is, this is one time they could have gone a little farther. There are some unanswered questions, and it would be nice to know if there will be answers. Unlike the old DIRECTV calls, there aren’t usually a lot of end-user announcements, but there might be some understanding of how the company’s strategy is working out. For example:

What’s the next step for DIRECTV NOW?

There’s been a lot of buzz on the internet about DIRECTV NOW and how maybe it’s not going to be a real focus for the company in the future. There have been rumors that it would be folded into the new Warner streaming service. I would think this would be similar to the way Hulu and Hulu live channels are accessed through the same app. But, there have been far too few real facts to help understand what all of that is going to look like.

I guess the real question, and I don’t think we know the answer to this, is what the demand for live TV is going to be in the future. There are definitely things that people watch live, but with the wide variety of on-demand programming, how important will live TV be? I tend to think that local content is very important but a lot of these “basic cable tier” type channels probably don’t need to be live at all. This could really affect the way streaming TV is marketed in the future.

When will the Warner app launch (and other stuff)?

AT&T, which already operates HBO Go, MAX Go, TBS, TNT, CNN, DIRECTV NOW, DC Universe and AT&T Watch services, has plans for a super-Warner app that will encompass a lot of this content. It will also reclaim content like Friends from competitors. It’s hard to know how massive this app will be, to what extent it will eclipse other properties, and how much it will cost.

The most important question is probably when it will launch. Expect Disney+ to get a lot of press this fall for what is expected to be a very rich experience at a very fair price. Will the Warner app experience be able to do the same?

When is 5G coming out nationally?

Now that we’re starting to see a 5G rollout in a few cities, and now that there are phones we want that can do 600MHz 5G, we all have the same question. We all want to know when WE can have it. That’s fair, right? Of course. So a big part of this discussion should be the timing of the 5G rollout. It’s tied to the FCC’s plan to reallocate frequencies away from TV, so it can’t be rushed. Still, some guidance here might be helpful.

Will the Sunday Ticket exclusive end?

There’s a clause in the Sunday Ticket agreement that says that the NFL can start looking for a streaming partner as soon as next year. This would be the first time that anyone but DIRECTV carried Sunday Ticket, and I that’s a big deal. The public details of the contract aren’t known, though. Perhaps AT&T will get first crack at that streaming contract, keeping the football package in the family.

Will there be “one more thing?”

Of course, we all remember the old Apple keynotes when Steve Jobs would bring out the one exciting part of the presentation at the end. AT&T isn’t like that, but they absolutely could end the presentation with news of upcoming rumored hardware. There’s a lot of stuff in the pipeline now. You’ve probably even read about some of it. Here at this blog we don’t break NDAs, so we’re anxious to be able to talk about it.

What about you? What would you like to hear about in the upcoming investor call? Leave a comment below!