DirecTV is looking at new ways to incorporate digital opportunities, as are all television providers, but CEO Michael White hinted at some of the satellite TV company’s actual plans during an analysts’ call that touched on acquiring Hulu and live streaming to tablets.
He reinforced his commitment to making DirecTV available anytime and anywhere its customers want it during Thursday’s call, and pointed to its NFL Sunday Ticket to Go premium subscription product (pictured) as an example of utilizing the Internet as well as satellite hybrid technologies to meet this goal.
But is the satellite company buying Hulu? White admitted DirecTV was investigating the possibility, but he seemed not entirely convinced. “The Hulu software has some nice aspects to it, but you also have to kind of form a judgment about its business model and what you think that business model can generate,” he said. “But I think what we we’re looking for is, is there something there that would enable us to accelerate TV Everywhere.”
What could tip the balance, he added, would be “the distribution relationships that it has and the contracts that underpin that.”
Meanwhile, DirecTV is working to test market its nomad product, the ability to move content from a DVR to a tablet like an iPad, before the end of 2011 and roll out it nationally in 2012.
White said the rights issues for linear programming were too complex to concentrate on that type of content yet, however. “Our focus is more things we think we can monetize like VOD, pay-per-view, premium channels like HBO Go and NFL Sunday Ticket To Go,” he said. “We’re also working on the ability to stream your iPad in the home and you may see something on that by the end of the year.”
Live streaming will have to wait, but not because DirecTV isn’t capable of doing it. “It’s not a technology challenge. It’s a rights issue,” White said.
Seeking Alpha transcript – http://tinyurl.com/3e4yh59