DirecTV is now its own company again after AT&T closed the deal with private equity firm TPG, which it first announced back in February. Under their agreement, TPG would own 30 percent of the spinoff, while the mobile giant will retain 70 percent ownership. As its own company, DirecTV will no longer operate under AT&T and will own and run the AT&T TV and U-verse video services under a single brand known as “DirecTV Stream,” debuting later this month. The new spinoff says customers won’t even feel the transition: The streaming services will continue being available, and hidden fees won’t blindside subscribers.
AT&T received $7.1 billion in cash for sale, but a tiny fraction of the $49 billion it originally paid when it purchased DirecTV in 2015. Back then, former AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said combining DirecTV with AT&T “is all about giving customers more choices for great video entertainment integrated with mobile and high-speed internet service.” According to Los Angeles Times, AT&T has lost 40 percent of DirecTV’s original subscriber number since then, and in the second quarter of 2021, DirecTV reported having 15.4 million premium video subscribers.