There’s a new spirit at DIRECTV headquarters. Since the company was spun off from AT&T, it feels like things are just lighter. It feels like anything is possible. The AT&T years were surprisingly difficult on DIRECTV staff. Many left on their own, and many many more were downsized in the name of “synergy.” Looking back, we can see that during the AT&T years there were no new receivers or DVRs. Yes the HS17 Genie 2 launched, but design of that devices was well underway before AT&T took the reins. The same can be said of satellite launches. Yes, AT&T did launch three satellites, but all were in the advanced stages of design and production before 2015. AT&T management even came out as saying that they have no plans for any new satellites, ever.
But all that’s behind us. The new DIRECTV is leaner, smarter, and more ready than ever to compete in the 2020s. That’s the message, and I personally believe them.
All bets are off, everything’s on the table.
It’s fun to say that. And, there are a number of minority opinion holders who are looking at this as a second chance to get their favorite channel. A perfect example is the PAC-12 channel. While it’s been available on competitors for years, it’s never been on DIRECTV. For a company that bills itself as the leader in sports, it’s a strange omission.
For years, we’ve been told that PAC-12 is just not a good business deal. There are several channels which just seemed too expensive to carry, given their limited appeal. Given that DIRECTV is now the size that DISH was when they took on PAC-12, that thinking could be changing.
It’s still a business move, not a point of pride
In its growth years, which I would say were 2000-2012, DIRECTV could barely restrain itself from adding any channel that came along. They wanted to be known as the service with the best selection. Eventually, though, people stopped being impressed by the number of channels they had and focused more on the number of channels they wanted.
In the 2000s we all talked about “a la carte” programming. How, if you could pick just the 15 channels you actually watched, you could pay less. To some degree this dream came true with streaming. You can turn services on and off anytime you want. However, we all thought that we’d pay about $1 a channel. Last time I checked, Netflix was close to $20 a month.
Generally when you find a channel that’s suspiciously missing from DIRECTV, it’s because the deal wasn’t good enough. Maybe (as the rumors said about Spectrum SportsNet) the content provider wanted everyone to get it and pay for it, all over the nation. Maybe a provider would allow it to be “a la carte” in the same way that HBO is, or maybe they wouldn’t.
In past years, DIRECTV and other companies came under fire for refusing to add channels like “The Blaze” which appealed to only one side of the political spectrum. DIRECTV’s management came out and said this was a decision based solely on the number of projected viewers for the channel, and stood by that. I believe them. I believe it’s all business and there’s nothing personal about it.
What channels would you like to see?
It’s your chance… leave a comment here. I know that a lot of highly placed DIRECTV folks read this blog. I’ve asked them in past years if they also read other blogs which claim to give you answers, and most of them have never even heard of other blogs much less read them. So this is your best opportunity to let them know what’s important to you!
Ready, set, go!