AT&T declined to comment.
AT&T acquired DirecTV in 2015 for $ 49 billion. While pay-TV services have lost subscribers in recent years, a deal today could value the division at $ 20 billion – well under half of its original price – WSJ said. The telecom operator also considered merging the company with smaller rival Dish Network, which could trigger antitrust concerns.
AT&T has a whopping $ 180 billion in debt, much of which it acquired when it bought Time Warner for $ 80 billion in 2018. It has explored selling various assets. Many intersectoral transactions have been suspended by the pandemic. The wireless and broadband company turned to the media, acquiring HBO, Warner Bros. and a family of cable networks under the Time Warner deal, paving the way for the launch of the HBO Max streaming service in May .
The WarnerMedia division recently underwent a major overhaul with streamlined divisions, major management changes and layoffs.
The DirecTV talks were reportedly spurred on by new CEO John Stankey.