After the acquisition of Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is still an enormous telecommunications provider and is growing more like a firm out of the West Coast as it fights rivals from Southern California to Seattle.
An analyst with IDC, Carrie MacGillivray, said that firms like AT&T have to change to compete.
After about 600 days, this month AT&T locked on the $85 billion purchase of the media firm, offering some of the most respected names in Hollywood, including Warner Bros., Turner and HBO, along with new advertising opportunities. The move came after a judge pushed back against the federal government’s effort to block the deal on antitrust concerns.
AT&T acquisitions and new services
Now, the firm is moving rapidly to demonstrate what it can do with the high-profile asset as it rolls out new services, eyes more invests and acquisitions in new content. In a lot of ways, it is looking westward to take on younger competitors, with names such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. AT&T, was hardly the first to make a move on content, has bet big and has extensive plans, even as it has a lot to prove, with investors worried about debt and growth.
Burghardt Tenderich, a professor at the University of Southern California, said that these firms realize that just being a giver of Internet access, just being a pipe, is simply not a sustainable value proposition.
AT&T wasted no time in officially launching a new service that tries to take a new approach to how consumers can get top-rated channels through creative packages.
AT&T planning on opportunities
Less than a week after the closure of the deal, it revealed “WatchTV,” for a number of unlimited wireless plans that feature more than two dozen live channels. Some of the channels come from Turner.
Executives see big opportunities ahead for the content lineup. John Stankey, the head of what’s now called WarnerMedia and said he plans to boost HBO’s original programming budget, according to a report in Bloomberg.
Even before the deal’s closure, AT&T has been demonstrating it is putting effort into California. MacGillivray points out the firm held a conference in Los Angeles with Warner Bros. to showcase the convergence of entertainment and technology.
It is no secret that AT&T and Time Warner are different firms with different business models. One has experience in building modern data pipes and providing smartphones while the other is full of creative type of people who can stun with visuals and enchant with fluid narratives.