The future is pretty easy if you look at it in the rear view mirror. On the other hand, it looks pretty silly if you don’t know what’s ahead of you. That’s one of the reasons I write Throwback Thursday. It reminds me of the speculations I’ve made on this blog. Some are pretty good, others end up being way off the mark.
May 1, 2014
Rumors start flying around that AT&T is interested in acquiring DIRECTV. I wrote a pretty good story about it. Turns out a lot of the points I made were pretty good. AT&T hasn’t had as much luck as I expected in South America, but otherwise it seems I hit the mark. The benefits I suggested actually came to pass.
But would such a merger happen? We didn’t have long to wait.
Seventeen days later
The rumor was true. On May 18, 2014 AT&T put in an offer to buy DIRECTV. It took almost two years for things to really get set in motion, thanks to some complex maneuvering with the FCC. But it did happen. The new company is stronger and better, leveraging premium entertainment with wired and wireless networks that deliver it smoothly. This was a case where everything worked out. Yes there were hiccups at the beginning. But, things got better over time.
Do I dare make another forecast?
AT&T went on to buy TimeWarner, known for their original content. This turned the company into a true titan, able to produce its own award-winning shows and distribute them to satellite and mobile customers alike. They launched a streaming service, they created enticing bundles, and they introduced new hardware while keeping key allies like Apple in the fold.
So what’s next? That is the question, isn’t it. It’s hard to see where AT&T could actually go from here. Keep in mind that this is a company that, thirty years ago, was broken up into over a dozen parts. This is a company that was close to bankruptcy when it was bought by one of its own former subsidiaries. And now, they are once again the unquestioned leader in telecommunications, larger than they were in the 1970s and more diverse than they have ever been.
So what’s next? Space? I mean they already operate one of the world’s largest satellite fleets. Maybe spreading to other planets? Elon Musk wants to go to Mars. Maybe AT&T will go with him.
I suppose you’ll have to wait another four years, for another Throwback Thursday, to see how that will all shake out.