AT&T, DirecTV CEOs give their take on why a merger is good for everyone

AT&T-DirecTV merger
AT&T wants to bolster its mobile TV offerings

If you thought Twitch and YouTube getting together was exciting stuff, the soap opera of tech company mergers continues with a $48.5 billion deal between AT&T and DirecTV.

Since hitting the airwaves May 18, the merger has been met with some heavy opposition calling it the creation of yet another industry giant.

Now, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and DirecTV CEO Mike White have held a conference call to help customers and investors make sense what a telecommunications and satellite conglomerate could do together.

CNET reports Stephenson and White both estimated there would be potential savings for customers by bundling of DirecTV's video service with AT&T's wireless and broadband services.

"We're going to get our playbook set and come out of the gate really hard," Stephenson said.

Mobile TV

Beyond savings, the AT&T CEO also alluded to more "robust video offerings" within 12 to 18 months. Riding the coattails of Verizon, who bought Intel's cloud TV arm, it seems AT&T wants to create media service of its own in brokering this DirecTV deal.

With a bigger combined company, the CEOs also warranted they would have the wider audience leverage they need to negotiate content deals.

AT&T affirmed that with the merger, it could serve a pay-TV viewership of 26 million. Additionally, the wireless company claims it has roughly 100 million wireless subscribers and operates broadband network service for 70 million people.

These new content deals could mean video would land on an assortment of screens, including smartphones, TVs, cars and even airplanes.

Sunday night lights

The biggest ticket item in question is whether DirecTV can renew a Sunday Ticket deal with the NFL.

The merger with AT&T would help DirecTV clinch the exclusive rights to air non-local football games every Sunday. However, The Verge reports the blue telecom has signed onto the merger with an extra measure allowing it to back out in case DirecTV can't secure an NFL contract.

While it might seem like AT&T is playing all the angles, during the conference call DirecTV's CEO remained confident that Ma Bell wouldn't immediately run away from the merger if the Sunday Ticket falls through.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.