Thread regarding DIRECTV layoffs

DTV's layoffs reputation - Concerned Data Scientist

I just accepted an offer from DTV in the data science department and looking forward to joining the company.

I've read many comments here and the general consensus is that T messed up DTV's good reputation. Can anyone share what DTV was like before T took over?

Also, does DTV have a record of laying off employees to cut cost. I just want to know so I can plan effectively. I just accepted an offer from DTV in the data science department and looking forward to joining the company.

I've read many comments here and the general consensus is that T messed up DTV's good reputation. Can anyone share what DTV was like before T took over?

Also, does DTV have a record of laying off employees to cut cost. I just want to know so I can plan effectively.

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| 2238 views | | 9 replies (last September 1, 2022)
Post ID: @OP+1hPEkZMA

9 replies (most recent on top)

As the posts above mentioned, Directv was a best in class company back in 2015 when AT&T purchased the company. Also already mentioned the challenge in the linear video marketplace leading to subscriber decline. BUT, a significant driver was the mismanagement driven by AT&T leadership decisions. Mainly, significantly cutting customer facing programs and operations to save costs. Of course, this was horrendous decision leading to significant declines in customer satisfaction and brand. Leading to losing a larger share of the customer base vs competitors. Now, under TPG management, it’s simply a cash cow. There is ZERO chance for Directv to grow the business through satellite or Stream products. Hence, its all about cash flow and cost management. Which means continuous cuts to programs and headcount as the subscriber base declines. So, no matter what CEO Morrow says.. its all about EBITDA and cost management. Word of caution to all employees.

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Post ID: @Ghfj+1hPEkZMA

@Eabw, What area of the business had 60+ laid-off? Please elaborate with details.

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Post ID: @Erjt+1hPEkZMA

Yes they do. Laid off 60+ last week with no advanced warning.

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Post ID: @Eabw+1hPEkZMA

Its no secret AT&T/TPG will dump us in the next few years when they feel our value is right.

the DTV before AT&T was magical and will never fully return. It was a top 100 company to work for, open door policy, not big on titles, best in class compensation. Just an A+ company all around. I can remember being at a meeting and blown away at the talent there. I felt like a du----s. Fast forward to my first sales meeting with AT&T and we were in awe of the Directors and VPs will AT&T and how the talent at DTV ran circles around them.

I give Morrow credit for wanting to return to some of that but the full old DTV will never be back.

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Post ID: @7ofr+1hPEkZMA

“… The current uncertainty is what happens when the honeymoon with TPG expires in June of 2024. …”

What are the possible scenarios for the company and it’s employees in July 2024?

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Post ID: @5zjz+1hPEkZMA

DTV is going down the tubes, so just ride the train until the wheels fall off.

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Post ID: @4ydq+1hPEkZMA

@OP, One upside to working at DIRECTV is nobody works on Friday!

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Post ID: @2pup+1hPEkZMA

The poster above forget to clarify that AT&T still retains a 70% stake in ownership - mostly in a passive sense. TPG purchased a 30% share with rights to operational and managerial decisions. This split is what expires in 2024.

What you should be investigating is how TPG runs businesses it buys through the SPAC division. A quick review finds half are pump and dumps - meaning load the bought company with debt, let it run to the BK line, then dump the remaining assets and write down the losses. The other product lines in their portfolio shows active investment but only those with a high potential for growth. That is dubious for DTV in my opinion.

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Post ID: @2fgd+1hPEkZMA

The current uncertainty is what happens when the honeymoon with TPG expires in June of 2024.

To recap, we were bought by AT&T at the peak of our customer saturation point only to quickly fall from that position due to three factors - AT&T had no idea what to do with us so we were underfunded, under promoted and mostly left to rot. The other hits were the dramatic uptick in alternative streaming services that siphoned off the "cool kids" by which I mean we lost a huge chunk of customers in the demographic sweet-spots of 24 to 54 years of age. The average age of our current customer base, at least on the West Coast, is now 71 years old. Hardly a class that excites advertisers to say the least. Lastly, the effects of Covid on the economy drove many former customers to reconsider the cost of our service compared to lesser priced alternatives. This economic realignment continues to this day and if a recession does occur, will serve to only drive these losses further.

Elliot Management and a few other institutional investors led a public revolt of sorts against AT&T prompting them to spin us off. Texas Pacific Group (TPG) created a SPAC to purchase us for quite literally pennies on the dollar. But, TPG only committed to a 36 month ownership timeline. The "soft" date of that ownership was June 1st of last year, so we have less than two years remaining under the jo--t TPG/AT&T plan.

So what happens June of 2024?

That is the question you should focus upon.

The answer is murky and full of speculation.

Some pundits in our Industry tout a full line of business merger with Dish Network in hopes that both can continue to limp along serving mostly the forgotten rural customers who lack access to competitive broadband. Although, we are already seeing Starlink erode that base of customers, at least in my areas.

Others suggest a split with the legacy dish on the roof group merging with Dish while the DTV Stream side remains an independent entity in hopes that it can recapture the coveted customer base that appeals to advertisers - tho that will be heavily dependent on customers willing to pay top-dollar for mostly run-of-the-mill content.

The other probable hit to DIRECTV Streaming will be the acceleration of DTC - Direct to Consumer delivery of content. We are already seeing more content companies touting their own streaming services (Disney +, Discovery +, PBS Passport, Peacock, A&E+, etc.) directly to consumers via very modestly priced Apps which completely bypasses distribution carriers such as ourselves. Should that trend likely continue, then more exclusive and popular programming will bypass us as content creators realize they no longer have to split the revenue with a legacy distributor in order to reach an audience.

Back to your inquiry, yes, there is a wave of hiring at the moment as the TPG checkbook is still open. I would not count on that always being the case as tho no longer publicly disclosed, we still shed upwards of 400,000 customers quarterly. At some point, we fall below the break even point and then all bets are off.

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Post ID: @2zqo+1hPEkZMA

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