Longtime ‘American Idol’ Sponsor AT&T Exits, Ford & Coca-Cola Back

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 5:31pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

attidolAn American Idol staple — the AT&T voting numbers read by host Ryan Seacrest after every performance — are gone. AT&T, which joined the Fox singing competition in Season 2, will not return for Idol’s upcoming 13th season. … Read More »

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Will The FCC Allow AT&T To Go Ahead With Its “Sponsored Data” Plan?

“We’re ready to intervene,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said this week about the new AT&T plan that has raised the hackles of net neutrality advocates. Nomination Hearing Of Thomas Wheeler To Be Chairman Of The FCCBut that’s short of a full-fledged commitment to deal with an issue that media and entertainment companies will closely monitor. The wireless carrier told an audience at the International CES confab that it will begin to let content providers pick up the tab for some of their 4G transmissions. It’s “similar to 1-800 phone numbers or free shipping for Internet commerce,” AT&T says. In theory, that could range from a studio paying data costs for mobile device users to watch a movie trailer — to ESPN or Netflix helping people to watch their programming. The idea is “a win-win for customers and businesses,” says AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega. Net neutrality advocates counter that AT&T’s plan would give well-funded industry giants a huge advantage over challengers in an environment where companies would effectively have to pay in order to reach mobile device users. “In addition to being a ripoff for both consumers and content creators, AT&T’s plan erects a massive barrier in front of anyone hoping to be the next big thing online,” says Public Knowledge Acting Co-President Michael Weinberg. Read More »

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Tribeca Sets Fest Submission Deadlines; AT&T Replacing Amex As Prime Sponsor

By | Monday August 5, 2013 @ 8:33am PDT
Mike Fleming

The Tribeca Film Festival has set submission dates for its 2014 fest, and it has named AT&T as its presenting sponsor. That role had been filled by American Express since the fest’s inception when it was hatched to … Read More »

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AT&T Agrees To Buy Leap Wireless

By | Friday July 12, 2013 @ 2:21pm PDT

UPDATE, 4:04 PM: Activist group Public Knowledge is first out urging government officials to reject the AT&T-Leap deal. “Since the federal government said ‘no’ to AT&T’s efforts to take over T-Mobile in 2011, AT&T has been … Read More »

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Guggenheim Digital Media Out Of Hulu Bidding: Report

By | Tuesday July 9, 2013 @ 2:56pm PDT

Now there are two: Guggenheim Digital Media and KKR have dropped out of the bidding for the video streaming service, CNBC reports from the Allen & Co. conference that draws hundreds of moguls each year to Sun Valley, … Read More »

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AT&T Mulls Joint Bid For Hulu With Chernin Group

By | Thursday June 6, 2013 @ 3:10pm PDT

AT&T HuluThe free-for-all to acquire Hulu might be turning into a tag-team match. Telco titan AT&T is considering a partnership with the Chernin Group, founded and run by ex-News Corp exec Peter Chernin, to make … Read More »

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Aereo Exploring Alliances With Pay TV Distributors: WSJ

By | Monday April 1, 2013 @ 6:41am PDT

This is a nightmare scenario for broadcasters, although it appears from The Wall Street Journal’s report this morning that no deals are imminent. The story says that Aereo — the controversial Barry Diller-backed service that streams broadcasters’ over-the-air signals to its subscribers — has been chatting with companies including Dish Network and AT&T about potential package deals. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the story says AT&T could offer broadband customers a deal that includes Aereo’s TV programming. Dish also could use Aereo as part of a small and low-cost package of channels that it would stream to subscribers. These ideas likely won’t move beyond the talking stage as long as broadcasters — including all of the leading networks — are asking the courts to rule that Aereo infringes on their copyrights. They say it appropriates their programming without their permission, and without paying them a dime. Aereo counters that it merely streams local signals that broadcasters already provide for free to anyone who has an antenna.

Related: Aereo Expands New York Service And Launches First Ad Campaign Read More »

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Broadcasters, Wireless Providers Ask FCC For Spectrum Re-Allotment Rules

By | Friday January 25, 2013 @ 12:04am PST

A coalition of broadcasters, wireless providers, and chip makers Thursday urged the FCC to adopt guidelines to minimize potential conflict between broadcasters and wireless companies as the agency strives to cope with rising stress on bandwidth. Because of ever-increasing Read More »

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AT&T Will Spend $14B To Expand Wired And Wireless Broadband

By | Wednesday November 7, 2012 @ 12:05pm PST

AT&T delighted Internet enthusiasts, but not its shareholders, today by announcing the three-year investment effort. The company says it will expand its U-verse TV, broadband, and voice rollout by one-third making it available to 33M “customer locations” by the end of 2015. There’ll be a lot more fiber optic cable in the system, enabling it to accommodate faster broadband speeds. In addition, AT&T will expand its 4G LTE network to cover 300M people by the end of 2014 — up from current plans to reach 250M by the end of 2013. “This is a major commitment to invest in 21st Century communications infrastructure for the United States and bring high-speed Internet connectivity — 4G LTE mobile and wireline IP broadband — to millions more Americans,” CEO Randall Stephenson says. Read More »

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AT&T,T-Mobile Partner To Help Wireless Customers Affected By Hurricane Sandy

By | Wednesday October 31, 2012 @ 1:30pm PDT

AT&T and T-Mobile USA have reached a temporary agreement to enable roaming on their networks to customers of both providers in areas most affected by Sandy. … Read More »

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AT&T Beats Q2 Profit Expectations With Help From U-verse And Smartphones

By | Tuesday July 24, 2012 @ 4:49am PDT

Shares are up about 1% in pre-market trading after AT&T reported that gains in its wireless and digital operations outweighed the losses in its conventional wired phone business in Q2. The company reported net income of $3.9B, up 8.7% vs the same period last year, on revenues of $31.6B, +0.3%. The revenue figure was just a little behind the $31.7B that Wall Street expected. The latest figure would be +2% if you strip out AT&T’s Advertising Solutions business which it sold in May. But the earnings, at 66 cents a share, were well ahead of the 63 cents analysts forecast. The company says that wireless data revenues grew 18.8%, or $1B from last year. AT&T had 105.2M wireless customers, up 1.3M in the quarter. With 5.1M smartphone sales in Q2, about a third of AT&T’s post-paid customers now have a 4G-capable device. The telecom giant also says that it added 155,000 U-verse TV customers, bringing the total to 4.1M. About 90% of the new TV customers also subscribe to the U-verse broadband service. Read More »

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News Corp Announces AT&T Alliance At Education Unit, To Be Called “Amplify”

By | Monday July 23, 2012 @ 8:43am PDT

Company watchers have been waiting to see what former Justice Department anti-trust chief and New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein will do at News Corp — when he isn’t helping Rupert Murdoch to manage his UK scandals. The partial answer, announced this morning, is a collaboration with AT&T to offer digital products for K-12 teachers, students and their parents. Although short on details, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega says they “plan to bring to market a 4G mobile tablet-based experience that we believe will significantly enhance teaching and learning.”  Beginning in the upcoming school year, the companies say, AT&T will “provide 4G tablets, device management and technical services, and connectivity over the AT&T Wi-Fi network and AT&T 4G network.” Read More »

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Why Was AMC Networks Today’s Hottest Media Stock?

By | Monday July 2, 2012 @ 1:59pm PDT

AMC Networks Stock PriceThe 10.3% jump in AMC Networks‘ shares to $39.20 is a surprise on the first trading day after Dish Network dumped AMC, IFC, and WE — costing the channels 14.1M potential viewers. … Read More »

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Did AT&T Just Show That It Wants To Buy Dish Network?

By | Monday January 30, 2012 @ 2:05pm PST

It depends on whom you ask as Wall Streeters look for hidden meaning in a letter that AT&T sent to the FCC late last week. The issue at hand is excruciatingly technical: Regulators are considering whether to grant Dish additional time to provide broadband services on some spectrum it wants to buy. Without a waiver, Dish would have to serve 100M people within three years. AT&T urged  regulators to reject Dish’s plea, saying that the public would benefit from the fast build-out while a delay would “confer a substantial windfall on Dish.” What’s interesting is the possible subtext. Credit Suisse’s Stefan Anninger sees the letter as a clear sign that AT&T is salivating over Dish’s spectrum following the collapse of the phone giant’s merger plan with T-Mobile. If the government imposes tough build out requirements on the satellite company then it ”could increase Dish’s interest in selling/dealing its spectrum,” he says. He believes that AT&T is interested in “increasing its negotiating leverage when it comes to a potential transaction negotiation with Dish.” But Breen Murray Carret analyst Todd Mitchell says the letter is “a clear indication that an AT&T acquisition of Dish is not in the cards in the immediate future.” Read More »

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AT&T Reports 4Q Loss As It Recovers From T-Mobile Debacle

By | Thursday January 26, 2012 @ 4:48am PST

ATT Q4 ResultsAT&T shares are down more than 2% in pre-market trading after it dumped a lot of bad news into a 4Q report that includes costs tied to the collapse of its $39B effort to acquire T-Mobile. The phone … Read More »

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AT&T Agrees To Pay TiVo $215M To Avoid Jury Trial In Patent Infringement Dispute

By | Tuesday January 3, 2012 @ 3:29pm PST

TiVo shares are up 11.4% in after-hours trading following its latest victory in its campaign to demonstrate that it controls the patents behind some of the most popular features for DVRs — including the ability to watch one program while … Read More »

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Dish Network Shares Rocketing On Speculation Of AT&T Deal

By | Tuesday December 20, 2011 @ 11:53am PST

Dish is up 9.1% in afternoon trading partly based on a theory that the satellite company is in AT&T’s sights now that it has abandoned its effort to merge with T-Mobile. Stifel Nicolaus’ Christopher King is among the analysts who say that it makes sense: AT&T craves spectrum, but it has few places to get it. The Justice Department and FCC nixed the idea of a merger with another wireless phone company. Cable operators also are out after their recent agreement to sell the spectrum they control to Verizon Wireless. That would seem to leave  Dish, even though it was one of the loudest opponents of AT&T’s deal with T-Mobile. Dish founder Charlie Ergen has been amassing spectrum — including some in the 700 megahertz band, which is where AT&T is building its 4G network — to help create his own national broadband and video-streaming service. The satellite company has said that it would like to find a partner to  help pay for his ambitious plan, and identified T-Mobile as a possibility. And even though Ergen says Verizon and AT&T need another competitor, he didn’t rule out a deal with AT&T when asked last month about the possibility. “If the merger is not allowed then it could be” an option, he said in a conference call with analysts. Read More »

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AT&T Succumbs To The Inevitable: Drops T-Mobile Merger Plan

By | Monday December 19, 2011 @ 2:15pm PST

There goes the $4B break-up fee that AT&T promised to pay T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom if the merger went awry. Meanwhile, shares of Sprint Nextel — which risked being marginalized by the AT&T/T-Mobile combo — are up 7.9% in … Read More »

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Dish Network Develops Web TV Plans While It Weighs Partnership Options: Bloomberg

By | Monday December 12, 2011 @ 2:06pm PST

For the last week or so we’ve been fascinated by the possibility that Verizon will create a streaming video business. But don’t forget Dish Network, which also owns Blockbuster video. “If Verizon can do it, why can’t we?” Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton asks Bloomberg. He added that “there’s not a lot of infrastructure you have to put in place for this. The expense is the programming.” Dish is already talking to TV networks about potential licensing deals. Dish also wants to amass wireless spectrum so it can do an end-run around cable and phone company broadband services. Clayton notes that Dish has more opportunities now than it did just a few weeks ago to forge partnerships that might give it better access to the airwaves — and offer a full range of video, voice, and data services.

T-Mobile is a potential ally if its merger with AT&T collapses following Justice Department and FCC attacks on the $39B deal. That appears more likely today: Justice put its antitrust case against the companies Read More »

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