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AT&T (T) Temporarily Extends Agreement With Raycom Media

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Telecom and pay-TV behemoth AT&T Inc.’s (T - Free Report) DirecTV and Raycom Media — an American television broadcasting company — have agreed for a temporary extension of their current contract till Sep 5, 2017.

The deal has been extended to avert the blackout of Raycom’s 54 stations on the satellite TV platform, as well as to provide an uninterrupted coverage of the ongoing Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Earlier, AT&T had been accused of service disruption of Raycom stations on its U-verse video platform, in order to lure customers to DirecTV. The discontent subscribers were offered a subscription with DirecTV and also pushed to DirecTV Now.

In second-quarter 2017, AT&T lost 195,000 U-verse customers and 156,000 satellite TV customers, and gained 152,000 DirecTV Now connections.

Nonetheless, more consumers are now willing to switch to free over-the-air reception, in order to fight the escalating subscription costs. Also, the providers, even with a risk of losing add-on fees after cancelling local station packages, are finding different ways to suit their customers.  

Recently, DISH Network Corporation (DISH - Free Report) and Citadel Communications agreed for a temporary extension of their current contract, thus avoiding an expected cut-off of the signal for the local ABC affiliate (WLNE-TV) in Providence, RI. However, DISH started offering free installation of HD over-the-air antennas to qualified local subscribers to avoid any service disruption.

Price Performance & Zacks Rank

AT&T’s price performance has been dull for the last three months. The stock has been down 3.3% as compared with the industry’s decline of 1.7% during the same time period. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here

Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the broader Computer and Technology sector may consider better-ranked stock like Arista Networks, Inc. (ANET - Free Report) and America Movil SAB (AMX - Free Report) .

Arista Networks currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 and projects earnings per share (EPS) growth rate of 19.3% over the next three to five years. 

America Movil currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and expects EPS growth rate of 55.9% for the same time period.

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