DirecTV Name Change: Consumers Know 'Stream' -- That's Enough

AT&T messed up DirecTV in many ways. There was confusion for consumers. But remedies might be coming.

Let’s start at the beginning. In addition to the main DirecTV satellite pay TV business, there was DirecTV Now, which became AT&T TV Now (broadband connected pay TV), and well as AT&T TV (also broadband connected pay TV).

The difference? For AT&T TV Now no contract was needed. For AT&T TV, consumers had to commit to a two-year contract. Earlier this year, AT&T TV Now stopped operations.

Now, perhaps one word might clean things up: Stream.

DirecTV is changing its name to DirecTV Stream. This intends to signify DirecTV Stream as a “service,” not necessarily connected to that box you might have sitting under your 72-inch Samsung smart TV.

But what about the name ‘DirecTV’? Apparently, that isn’t going away. That name will describe a piece of equipment -- possibly a box that sits under your Samsung smart TV.



Still confused? Think about Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV -- all of which describes a separate set-top box sitting near your TV set, while at the same time describing the "platform" that gives you content.

DirecTV Stream is attempting to move into this world fully. You might even add other names, such as Sling TV, YouTube, which also can be accessed through other platforms and devices.

Got it? Wait, there’s more.

Walt Disney’s Disney+ may be looking to make things easy, according to media pundits -- at least according to some business partners.

This comes from its Disney+ Premier Access. That’s the special pay-per-view part of Disney+ where very high in-demand theatrically inclined movies are priced at $30 per showing. This is in addition to the $7.99-a-month fee for Disney+.

Yes, much of this may have to do with actress Scarlett Johansson and her “Black Widow” lawsuit complaining that Disney+ Premier Access streaming took money away from her contractual cut of the theatrical box-office sales. ]

But it isn’t just actors and producers. Theaters are still uncomfortable with giving up some of their box office revenues.

The bottom line: Movie consumers might be happier. Some $60 million in sales in streaming revenue on the opening theatrical weekend of "Black Widow" might say that. That’s a simple story to comprehend.

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