Discovery, AT&T Ink Expanded Carriage Deal
Discovery Communications has reached a new long-term carriage agreement with AT&T.
The pact with the owner of the DirecTV and U-Verse services will see a broader arrangement between the two companies, allowing AT&T to distribute Discovery’s content via set-top boxes, streaming, and temporary download through DirecTV’s TV Everywhere.
Subscribers to DirecTV and U-Verse will also have access to Discovery’s suite of websites and applications.
The agreement also extends to AT&T’s forthcoming DirecTV Now direct-to-consumer streaming service, expected to be available in Q4.
Eric Phillips, President of Domestic Distribution at Discovery Communications, said his company is pleased “to get a win-win deal done with the largest distributor in the country.” He adds, “Our agreement greatly expands the AT&T platforms that will distribute our award-winning content, including future distribution on DirecTV Now for our portfolio of brands.”
Dan York, Chief Content Officer at AT&T, added, “By adding the Discovery networks to the growing DirecTV Now lineup, we are continuing to build a streaming service for the connected generation that we believe will be second-to-none in the industry.”
The deal comes as Discovery Communications gears up for its Q3 2016 quarterly conference call, which has been set for Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 8:30am Eastern.
Michael Nathanson, senior analyst at MoffettNathanson Research, says the timing of Discovery’s deal with AT&T was a “surprise.”
And, he says it’s a pleasant one for investors, as the deal removes “one obvious overhang and potential negative catalyst” tied to its bear market performance. Shares in DISCA have steadily retreated in the last two years from roughly $40 a share to its current $25-range performance.