It’s official: AT&T will buy DirecTV for $48.5B

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We’ve been wondering since 2009 if AT&T would ever purchase DirecTV and we don’t have to wonder any longer. In a press release on Sunday the U.S. carrier announced its deal to pay $95 a share for DirecTV, which works out to around $48.5 billion.

AT&T says this will eventually boost its broadband footprint to 70 million locations and help the carrier become a content destination regardless of where consumers watch:

“The combined company will be a content distribution leader across mobile, video and broadband platforms. This distribution scale will position the company to better meet consumers’ future viewing and programming preferences, whether traditional pay TV, on-demand video services like Netflix or Hulu streamed over a broadband connection (mobile or fixed) or a combination of viewing preferences  on any screen.”

AT&T’s release was also quick to note that DirecTV has the exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket programming for football games. Verizon currently offers live football coverage on its NFL Mobile app, so it will be interesting if football comes to more mobile devices as a result.

Football is only a 17-week season, though, so the bigger picture for this deal may be for AT&T to gain more rural broadband customers outside of its U-Verse service. Now it’s up to regulators to approve the deal that the boards of AT&T and DirecTV have agreed upon.

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