U.S. telecom behemoth AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) has been focused on strengthening its content and online streaming services post the DirecTV acquisition in 2015. To this end, the company has recently declared a multi-year deal with Taylor Swift for its DirecTV's Super Saturday Night event and a carriage deal with Viacom Inc. (VIAB - Free Report) for its DirecTV Now.
A few days back, AT&T had revealed its plans to launch its online streaming service over-the-top (OTT) DIRECTV Now by the end of 2016. This will allow the company to foray into the OTT space and compete with the likes of Dish Network Corp.’s (DISH - Free Report) Sling TV and Sony’s Playstation Vue.
AT&T also plans to venture into the video streaming market later this year, which is already crowded by the presence of Netflix Inc. (NFLX - Free Report) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Free Report) .
AT&T recently announced an exclusive multi-year agreement with pop singer, songwriter, musician and producer Taylor Swift. As per the deal, Swift will perform at AT&T’s DirecTV pre-Super Bowl event – Super Saturday Night in Houston, which is scheduled for Feb 4, 2017. The partnership includes exclusive performances among other content. Financial terms and additional details of the deal are yet to be disclosed by the telecom behemoth.
Interestingly, Swift is the only woman in the history of Grammy to win the Album of the Year twice. She has also won the Grammy Award as many as 10 times and earned a place among the world's highest-paid celebrities, having raked in $170 million. The event will be hosted in Houston on a 64,000-square foot site created specifically for this event. Tickets will be made available to public through a series of promotions and campaigns by AT&T. Swift's concert will be telecasted through U-verse video and DirecTV after the show ends.
Super Saturday Night is the 12th annual DIRECTV concert, which is expected to be one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Note that this would be the first time that Swift performs during the festive season. AT&T has declined to comment on whether it expects the tie-up to boost its DirecTV Now market.
Last year, DirecTV had sponsored a performance by Barbadian singer and songwriter Rihanna at Super Saturday Night. This year, American rock band, Red Hot Chili Peppers wooed the crowds.
Viacom’s Carriage Deal
Meanwhile, Viacom has inked a carriage deal with AT&T, under which the company will broadcast 15 of its channels on AT&T’s DirecTV Now. Some of the channels covered by the deal include Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr. and Logo.
Viacom enjoys solid demand for its existing networks on the back of its diversified content programming. The latest agreement is thus likely to be a strategic fit for DirecTV Now streaming services. Moreover, AT&T will be able to offer a broader portfolio of high-quality content via DirecTV Now to the combined customer base of the two companies.
AT&T currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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