OPINION: DIRECTV by any other name?

At some point, I suppose it could happen. The DIRECTV name could go away, in favor of “AT&T Entertainment.” I was pretty confident a year ago that the DIRECTV name would survive in the short term, and so far it has. Still, you keep running into stories like this one at DSLReports claiming that the DIRECTV name will be phased out when the “next generation” product comes out. So, at some point we may stop talking about DIRECTV because the name may fade away. It could also become specific to the streaming platform.

Personally, I think the name “DIRECTV” is too catchy to lose. But that’s just me. I don’t think people will call their TV provider “AT&T Entertainment,” if anything they’ll just say “AT&T” which is fine for what it is. After all, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, as Shakespeare said. The name “AT&T Entertainment” is already in use administratively, so it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see it used publicly.

I’ll take it one step further… I think people will have a hard time letting go of the name “DIRECTV.” I still call Fedex Office “Kinkos” and even though the competing satellite service is called “DISH,” even I still call it “Dish Network.” I’m not so sure I’ll easily translate all the articles and tutorials I’ve written to say “AT&T Entertainment.”

On the other hand, I do applaud AT&T for closing down the “U-Verse” brand, which has never had great traction in the marketplace. I think it has a bad “mouth feel,” in other words it scrunches up your face when you say it. It’s never really been synonymous with quality like DIRECTV has, and yet if you ask AT&T television and internet subscribers what they have, they’ll tell you “U-Verse” not “AT&T,” because as displeasing as it is to say “U-Verse” it seems even… “verse” to say “AT&T.”

But hey, I think we’re talking about a year or more from now, and the company is spending a lot of time and money launching three streaming services bearing the DIRECTV name, so whether or not they do make a change, I can say with confidence that it won’t be soon. And eventually, I’ll mentally make the move, because the service is so good that it doesn’t matter what they call it. (Just don’t call it late for dinner… sorry, couldn’t resist.)