Thread regarding AT&T layoffs

Farewell, DTV

This revisionist history narrative I keep seeing that DTV was somehow a bastion of a company with no financial, personnel or other issues prior to being acquired is hilarious at best. I also see this same nonsense from legacy-Bell South, legacy-Ameritech, legacy-fill-in-the-blank. “We had no problems before being bought!”. Please.

We’ve had to clean up many of the messes that were brought over when they thought they could build networks and other non-tv related services. Even with that aside, DTV, had they not been acquired would still be losing customers hand-over-fist to cord cutting as is literally EVERY SINGLE other company that provides paid tv service. I’m curious to hear from legacy DTV’ers, while you’re sitting there blaming the big bad AT&T for all your pitfalls, what would DTV have done differently to make any difference with what is the worldwide phenomenon of cord-cutting? I’d love to hear it.

It will be a significant boost to cut loose of the ball-and-chain that is DTV.

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Post ID: @OP+15Kl2S8l

27 replies (most recent on top)

The comments from the legacy DTVers sound like a bunch of millennials crying about why they’re so inpet.

“It’s not my fault it’s my parent’s fault!”

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Post ID: @2tfd+15Kl2S8l

@1rts+15Kl2S8l

The entirety of that dramatic drivel you posted = revisionist history

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Post ID: @2pzv+15Kl2S8l

Absolute truth @1hw.

I thing the OP is an AT&T mid level manager who doesn't actually know much about pre-AT&T DTV. He only knows the official AT&T corporate line that he's fed at meetings every day. Along with a healthy dose of fruit punch flavored corporate Kool Aid.

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Post ID: @1pbb+15Kl2S8l

The best part about all this is the people blaming T, T isn't even the real T. The current T is a blanket over the sh–ty SBC. SBC is the f—ing cancer that destroyed this once great company.

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Post ID: @1cxz+15Kl2S8l

The best part about all this is the people blaming T, T isn't even the real T. The current T is a blanket over the sh–ty SBC. SBC is the f—ing cancer that destroyed this once great company.

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Post ID: @1hdc+15Kl2S8l

To the OP:

Of course AT&T did not buy DIRECTV with the intent to destroy it. That's perhaps the most asinine thing you could have gathered from any of the posts in favor of DTV. But, destroy it they did. Unintentionally, sure, but through their mis-management, arrogance, short-sightedness, lack of understanding of the business, and complete and utter disregard for the culture at DTV, the employees, or the customers.

And that's what you get wrong. This "revisionist history" you cry about doesn't exist. DTV simply WAS a better company in terms of how it was run, how it treated customer, how it treated employees, how it planned for the future, how it reacted to the present, and how it was on a day-to-day basis. That's why legacy DTV employees keep talking about the good old days. Not because DTV was some perfect product or perfect company, but because it was when compared with T.

And yes, while the entire pay-tv industry started seeing a decline around the same time, DTVs decline was ACCELERATED by T's mismanagement, heavy-handed rule, lack of even the slightest concern about employees, and enormous arrogance. Putting Stankey in charge was basically injecting a poison into the service that sped up everything bad.

If you can't see that, it may be because you just don't know anything about DTV pre-merger. Fair enough. But you coming here, telling everyone who WAS with DTV before that they are wrong for recognizing how HORRIBLE everything is now is a perfect example of that T arrogance and disdain.

Again, DTV was certainly not a perfectly run company with perfect service and perfect employee relations. Unless it is compared to T, in which case DTV was pure nirvana wrapped in heaven inside of valhalla.

So yeah, your whinging about 'revisionist history' is a steaming pile of [email protected] from someone who has no idea what it was actually like. Time for you to face the facts: T is a cancer spreader. They destroy what they acquire not because they want to, but because of their blind hubirs and horrible management.

It's a simple fact. DTV was much better off before T. DTV almost certainly would be in a better position today without T. And DTV was leaps and bounds a better place to work than T. That's truth. Whether you accept it or not is all on you.

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Post ID: @1hwl+15Kl2S8l

All I hear from my friends at legacy DTV is that it was great company before acquisition - true, but let's be honest, in today's world DBS is a declining business and the decline will accelerate dramatically - the declined would have happened regardless of AT&T's acquisition - it is just the reality of the world we live in. Yes, AT&T's management made a huge mistake acquiring DTV and paying a lofty premium for it, paying DTV employees lucrative retention bonuses... they ruined AT&T. They had no vision and mismanaged the whole company. AT&T leadership team should have been fired and investigated. Mismanagement may not be a crime, but when mismanagement is destroying lives, it should be a crime. They have destroyed lives.

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Post ID: @1rts+15Kl2S8l

If the company had listen to the customers, you know those that pay everyone’s salaries, they would have learned that the general public hates and i mean hates ATT with a passion. They would have left DTV alone and not rebranded it with any of its logos, and let it run the same way before the merger. I have lost count of the times an NPS score came in withe a comment of “ i like my DTV BUTTTT Att s—s” . DTV demised was accelerated by the shear dislike of the general public for ATT, DTV by association became that dirty smelly kid in the playground no one wants yo play with.

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Post ID: @1fkq+15Kl2S8l

Im a legacy DTV employee and you are right on many of the things you mentioned! Mike White drove it into the ground by refusing to innovate or invest in anything. Another company almost destroyed by former Pepsi exec. (See Apple & John Scully) DTV had name recognition, best in industry product, best customer service but was still a relic of the 90’s. Who wants a dish, 2yr contact and set-top box anymore? The customer base is shrinking for sure but it wasn’t ANYTHING like the sad morose place guided by out of touch a-holes from Dallas that CONSTANTLY drink their own kool-aid. They bought DTV at top price 3yrs ago and its been sinking ever since. Meanwhile, Tex and Stinky have been systematically twisting everything. The changes AT&T announced last month amount to a sea change and the blood in the water will be like those slaughter coves where the Japanese k–l those whales. Who could work and give a c-ap about the company whilst that goes on weekly and Stinky gets 22million as compensation? BTW, when the d–k Mike White left he was getting 30mil a year back in 2010 for a company 10% the size of AT&T !

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Post ID: @1pgt+15Kl2S8l

If DIRECTV’s huge subscriber losses were truly the product of “industry trends” as T’s mo–nic overconfident leadership keeps claiming, then how come AT&T and DIRECTV are losing subscribers at such a substantially accelerated rate as compared to every other video provider? If it was just outside forces, there should be roughly equal cord-cutting from all providers, but T is posting video losses that are five times that of everyone else, and that’s happening every quarter.

And if it was just industry trends that favor cord-cutting, you’d think T’s streaming-only video platforms would be doing better. But no, DIRECTV NOW is shedding customers just as quickly. What’s the common denominator? Oh yeah, AT&T thinks it knows better than everyone, and once again, leadership is arrogant and wrong, the company put out a bad product and continues to treat subscribers poorly, like they should be grateful that the mighty AT&T allowed them to be customers.

I’ve seen news articles where analysts call out the lame excuse from T leadership of industry trends. One of them even said, “With these consistent losses, AT&T can’t keep crying victimhood and saying they’re part of the trend — mathematically, they ARE the trend.”

Anyone who blindly parrots the narrative that DIRECTV is the ball and chain dragging down the company, well... I hope that Kool-Aid tastes decent.

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Post ID: @1atd+15Kl2S8l

No comparison. Bellsouth was a well run company with good leadership and an enjoyable place to work. Att is garbage. Nuff said.

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Post ID: @izs+15Kl2S8l

Dtv had dtv now. Att k–led the competition.

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Post ID: @ndk+15Kl2S8l

U-verse as a TV platform is great. The guides and movement through the service is top notch. It is leaps and bounds better than DTV/DISH/Comcast and other services. Lightning fast channel changes, the almost imperceptible switch from unicast to multicast, etc. The problem with U-verse was being saddled for the most part to POTs lines. vdsl2 Pair bonding just isn't enough to bring the speeds to compete lately. The service would easily get bogged down when you didn't have pristine pairs. It would have been great if they would have gone all fiber early on and continued to push out fiber to the prem, but that's costly. There's a reason all these residential fiber projects have failed for other companies.

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Post ID: @ycv+15Kl2S8l

I work at DTV and most who are legacy DTV employees say it went to sh– after AT&T acquired it. Before that, it was a decent place to work.

Personally, I enjoy my job at DTV. But I always have back up plans for the worse-case scenario.

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Post ID: @uid+15Kl2S8l

OP here...

No, no hatred or unfounded animosity towards DTV as a product, company, nor its legacy employees. The issue is with this revisionist history narrative, that still seems to be deeply ingrained judging by the responses.

@gnd+15Kl2S8l

I appreciate the civil and thoughtful response. I still take issue with this abstract concept of AT&T purchasing DTV and then immediately proceeding to "destroy" them. You're telling me that you believe that Company A buys Company B (higher than market value, mind you), with the intention of ruining Company B? By any definition that is ludicrous. My 4 year old understands that that makes no sense. Come on. No, AT&T desperately wants DTV as a platform to thrive, and still does, however the move to purchase them in retrospect was a critical miscalculation.

This "AT&T destroyed DTV" train of thought is entirely founded on the modifications to the business structure, and cut backs in other areas. You know why? BECAUSE IT'S A DYING BUSINESS. That was quickly realized after completion of the merger. Cutting costs and pulling back heavy investments in an area of the business that is bleeding money is business 101. I believe that you probably know that. What would you have them do, continue to throw money into the pit? People simply do not want the service any longer, this is fact and I get why legacy DTV folks would not want to accept that, but it's simply a reality. The demand is nearly gone, that is not the fault of AT&T the boogeyman or anyone else.

Additionally part of the false narrative is that "DTVs downward trajectory began immediately after the acquisition". Yea, well, you know what? So did everyone else's. That stands to be an extremely unfortunate coincidence that AT&T invested so heavily into a business that was about to begin a steep downward trend. I think they wish they could have a do-over there.

I wish everyone in legacy DTV roles nothing but the best going forward, I just can't accept that being bought was the entire reason the product is not what it once was. People need to look at our world and look in the mirror.

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Post ID: @auh+15Kl2S8l

You fail troll. The Deathstar destroys every company it acquires. Every. Single One.

The only successful investment Randall ever made was the billions he gave to T-Mobile. And that's only because it was someone other than AT&T management that got to put the money to work.

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Post ID: @bog+15Kl2S8l

Legacy DIRECTV employee here.

The OP seems to have some sort of grudge or irrational dislike of DIRECTV. I'm not sure why, but it's obvious. Still, he/she makes some valid points. Cord cutting would have harmed DIRECTV. The DIRECTV app was buggy and unreliable. And too many legacy DIRECTV folks maybe looking at their time there with rose colored glasses.

But more the rest is a litany of half-truths, misinformation, and mis-directed animosity. I suppose it's because the OP is upset that so many legacy DIRECTV people are unhappy with T leadership.

But really, any idea that T has made positive moves in regards to DIRECTV is so ludicrous it's unbelievable anyone could suggest it. Since the acquisition T has been, intentionally or not, rotting DIRECTV away from the inside by cutting support and tech staff, cutting developers, reducing maintenance, focusing on streaming, and insisting on now relegating DIRECTV as an option only for rural populations.

Consider that first thing T did after they officially moved in: they put Stankey in charge. if it were a line graph this is the point where it would drastically begin to slope down. Then comes DTV Now. Followed by a systematic degredation of the entire support structure and elimination of budget for improvements and staff. Top it off with the arrogance of people like Stankey or Stephenson – who know nothing about TV – taking control and aiming straight for a cliff.

Sure, DIRECTV had its issues. Every company does. But some companies have greater, corporate-wide issues and others don't. T is one that does. And, as history has shown very clearly, T seems to contaminate everything it touches, like a super-spreader of disease.

I'm sorry the OP hates everything related to DIRECTV, but to make any claim at all that by any comparison T is better – better run, better positioned, better able to change, better at serving customers, or better at long-term strategy – is just silly.

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Post ID: @gnd+15Kl2S8l

Oh this is funny!

All one needs to do is look at what DTV was in 2014 and what it is now.

Then consider what changed. Yes, cord cutting has grown. But really the difference is ownership.

If AT&T was competently run they would have been able to somewhat manage the bleeding. They havent. If Uverse was the "superior" product they would have transitioned customers FROM DTV TO Uverse. They didn't.

And that one reply a couple spots down trashing the Directv app? Yeah, well it wasn't designed to be a stand-alone streaming service (like DTV Now or ATTTV Now, etc). It was a companion to DTV. There's a reason it wasn't offered as an option other than home service. But I guess that doesn't matter to you.

I'm beginning to think maybe the OP and those defending are actually minions in Stink's office trying to do damage control. Though with all their recent success, I don't understand why.

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Post ID: @jvp+15Kl2S8l

@dda: My word. Do you actually believe what you burped, or are you just trolling for fun. If it's the latter, you need a new hobby. If it's the former ... I genuinely feel sorry for you. All you need to do is look at the clear and present facts:

  1. What was DTV's customer satisfaction and service like before the merger?
  2. How have T's video products performed?

Despite your insistence that Uverse was superior, the numbers say differently. DTV rated higher by consumers and professionals across the board (pre-merger).

Maybe you're just upset that a phone company is being exposed as completely incapable of running a video service.

Either way, your ignorance is my amusement. But yeah, if you really believe what you wrote, I do feel pity for you.

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Post ID: @rrm+15Kl2S8l

OP is fishing for drama, ignore this troll.

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Post ID: @aly+15Kl2S8l

So now instead of claiming T helped DTV, you’ve changed your story to say OP claimed that T “improved” DTV.

Keep on moving the goal posts to further your narrative. Keep on ignoring the industry shift and consumer shift and act like like DTV would still be k–ling it as a provider and they been left independent. Keep on being delusional, everyone sees it but you.

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Post ID: @aug+15Kl2S8l

@iun+15Kl2S8l

OP didn’t say that T helped DTV, reading comprehension is key. And yes, DTV was working on consumer non-tv related services, not sure what to tell you if you did not know that?

The claim that the streaming service would have been better had it not been “rushed”, well, one has to look no further than the original DTV app to see how god awful it is, so that silly claim is out the window. The U-verse app, while never great, is and was 10x better than that garbage.

U-verse as a TV platform was leaps and bounds ahead of DTV, from the interface to the technology and everything in between. It’s still better even having no updates for years. I’ve not talked with a single person that was happy about being moved from U-verse to DTV, only complaints that it’s an inferior product. Are you all just salty that the phone company did TV better than you did when that’s all you had to do?

The rest of your claims seem to be subjective and based on “good ol day syndrome”.

K–ling off DTV? I don’t think I’ve seen a single story or rumor suggesting that happening, again, reading comprehension. I have seen where DTV could be sold or spun off as a separate company. Of course there is still a customer base that needs to be supported so that would obviously have to be the path forward. I’d be happy to see DTV live on as a separate entity.

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Post ID: @dda+15Kl2S8l

@iun Well said! DTV was fantastic with their customers and with employees! DTV made money! DTV had the best customer service consistently! ATT can't say that. Any company that ATT has ever purchased they have continuously ran it in the ground. ATT has zero vision. ATT can't even spell TV. DTV at least knew the industry and how to be agile and change when they had to. ATT can't say that.

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Post ID: @nat+15Kl2S8l

@ayyo: No, not angry. Partially amused that anyone would be deluded enough to think AT&T actually improved DTV, and partially exhausted by yet another person trying to deflect blame onto DTV which only really started to fall apart after the merger.

I mean, the only people who believe T fixed DTV are Randy, Stinky, and Jeffy.

Once you folks accept the truth and acknowledge that AT&T destroyed DTV and will destroy Warner and HBO the better. I know it can be scary to fully enter into reality, but once you get used to it you'll really feel better.

Unless you've already finished off your portion of the deathstar kool-aid, in which case you're incurable.

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Post ID: @yda+15Kl2S8l

Oh look ... someone daring to actually try and tell us that AT&T helped DTV and solved problems!

Astounding.

The OP actually believes this! Then, after falsely claiming DTV was looking into building non-tv related services (they weren't) the OP snidely asks what DTV could have done differently?

Well:

  1. DTV had phone support in the US. Keeping that would have been good.
  2. DTV had responsive techs to make house calls. Now the AT&T bureaucracy means techs have chronic supply problems and are forced to upsell.
  3. DTV was exploring a streaming option, but AT&T came along and rushed DTV Now which effectively k–led any DTV streaming.
  4. DTV management was involved and effective. AT&T? Not so much.
  5. DTV teams were integrated and very cross-functional. AT&T is silos within silos
  6. DTV didn't have quarterly layoffs to destroy morale. At T layoffs are the only thing they do well

Also, even though nobody admits it, DTV is still the main video outlet for T. 17 million subscribers is more than Uverse, ATTTV and HBO Max combined. So k–ling DTV would basically be k–ling T video.

Would any of this stopped cord cutting? Probably not. But DTV was agile, responsive, and well-run enough to have mitigated the loss better than T is doing. Further, I'd be willing to bet that if left on their own, the DTV folks would have come up with a streaming option that worked much, much better than DTV Now, which was an unmitigated disaster.

The fact is DTV had outstanding customer satisfaction, provided the best pay TV service available compared to any other (cable, Dish, or Uverse), and had employees who not only enjoyed their jobs but had high morale.

There's more, but who am I to tell one of the T geniuses how to do things. I mean, DTV Now, HBO Max, and ATTTV all point to how competent T management is.

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Post ID: @iun+15Kl2S8l

Irony is OP going to get let go while DTV still hangs around

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Post ID: @ttu+15Kl2S8l

They handed Cisco a blank check to operate their 10gig rings that transported locals and other programming to aggregate up-link facilities. Cisco was happy to take a lot of their money.

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Post ID: @uku+15Kl2S8l

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