AT&T's Terrible New TV Branding Confuses Even AT&T

from the DERP dept

AT&T's efforts to dominate the online streaming (and advertising segment) has had a bit of a rocky start. After spending more than $150 billion to acquire both DirecTV and Time Warner in recent years, AT&T's been losing subscribers hand over fist anyway. Part of the problem is that the company acquired so much debt in the course of the deal (AT&T is among the most indebted companies in the world), AT&T's been forced to raise rates on subscribers. Given the rise in streaming competitors, those users are wisely just heading for the exits.

But AT&T's been making some notable missteps on the branding front as well. The company keeps launching, scrapping, and then re-launching so many different TV options it's confusing the hell out of customers. As the company stumbles its way into building one cohesive brand, it has gotten kind of, well, silly:

Apparently AT&T's new TV branding isn't just confusing consumers. It's also confusing AT&T. The company's marketing and support departments appear to have been bungling the names of several new AT&T TV products in marketing and support materials, only compounding consumer confusion. AT&T recently eliminated its DirecTV Now streaming TV brand, and renamed it (quite creatively) "AT&T TV Now." The company also rolled out another completely new service and called it "AT&T TV." The former service is just another streaming app, while the latter service requires a new AT&T set top box and is currently in a glorified beta.

This being the telecom sector, customer support is already kind of an afterthought. But AT&T's confusing branding has taken things to an entirely new level, leaving many AT&T customers in a bizarre, customer service purgatory:

"To make matters even worse, most tech support for AT&T TV Now is labeled AT&T TV on AT&T's website. When you try to contact AT&T TV Now you need to use the contact information for AT&T TV. This has resulted in many of our readers confused about how they contact... AT&T TV Now to ask a question.

AT&T's website does not help. AT&T TV Now is only found if you click on streaming. For a while after the name change, clicking on DirecTV Now in some menus on AT&T's website brought you to AT&T TV [instead of] AT&T TV Now.

Even just this week when AT&T announced a deal with Starz they didn't list AT&T TV Now but listed AT&T TV. When asked about this AT&T said AT&T TV Now was lumped together with AT&T TV.

As we've long noted, telecom companies aren't particularly innovative because they've spent the last few generations as government-protected and pampered monopolies. Fused to the nation's intelligence and law enforcement community, they're the personification of "too big to fail." Their deep lobbying tendrils also mean they enjoy regulatory capture on the state and federal level, making any real accountability for bad behavior a rarity, at best.

Given real competition is alien to them, Verizon and AT&T keep doing face plants as they attempt to erode Google and Facebook online video ad revenues. That's why instead of directly competing or innovating, the telecom sector's first inclination is usually to try and tilt the regulatory playing field or cheat in some fashion. And while these kind of shenanigans have caused plenty of problems in the broader internet and streaming TV ecosystem, those problems would likely be immeasurably worse were the telecom sector actually competent outside of its core competencies (building networks, lobbying to erode competition).

Filed Under: at&t now, branding, hbo, hbo go, streaming, tv
Companies: at&t


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2019 @ 6:39am

    Why did they feel the need to rebrand to a tongue-twister?

    AT&T&V&TV&T&NOWATV&AT?
    It just rolls off the tongue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Bobviously NOT OUT of THE BLUE, 12 Sep 2019 @ 6:44am

    You MOCK AT&T because NOT GOOGLE!

    I HOOT at you, Masnick. Hoot! HOOT! Hootitty hootitty hoot hoot hoot!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Sep 2019 @ 6:47am

      …the hell, when did Techdirt get a Rowlet?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Enhanced Imagining, 12 Sep 2019 @ 7:28am

        "Stephen": don't ask for whom the hell tolls, it tolls for thee!

        I feared this would happen. You kids have crossed the threshold into self-sustaining astro-turfing of your imaginary enemies. -- Even you don't know who's "real" here anymore!

        By the way, notice how no one asks who this "Blue" is? Again, proves are NO new readers here. -- AND even if were, when see clear insanity, won't stay long!

        Oh, and to the new "Blue Balls"? Do you grasp that you're the apparent target of all this hate? Besides astro-turfing it up?

        @ Masnick: it's YOUR fault, not mine. You could have quashed this idiocy YEARS ago with a little disapproving, but now it's whatcha call metastatized. YOU are volunntarily associating with them. At least I always take you seriously, give me that. But how can anyone take you or site seriously with your fanboys going nuts?

        YOU, "Stephen", are helping this along, trying to get a target for ad hominem here so looks like an active discussion. But it looks insane.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Enhanced Imagining, 12 Sep 2019 @ 7:29am

          Re: "Stephen": don't ask for whom the hell tolls, it t

          [Added the subject line: for any unlikely new reader, that IS intentionally very feeble pun.]

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Sep 2019 @ 7:50am

          You could have quashed this idiocy YEARS ago

          Yeah, but then he would’ve needed to deal with you using Tor to whine about being banned even more, and that would’ve been more trouble than it’s worth.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2019 @ 8:20am

          Re: "Stephen": don't ask for whom the hell tolls, it tolls for t

          At least I always take you seriously

          HAHAHAHAHAHA -

          Oh wait, you're serious?

          Let me laugh even harder. AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA -

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Blue Balls, 12 Sep 2019 @ 10:23am

            Re: Re: "Stephen"Hoo Hoo Hoo!

            I think that this FAKE lunatic is mocking the REAL PERSONS who will keep the MINIONS in their place with COMMON LAW and copyRIGHT.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2019 @ 7:42pm

          Re: "blue balls": don't ask for whom the troll trolls for

          “But it looks insane”

          Careful bro. You came dangerously close to a moment of self reflection there.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2019 @ 2:19am

          Re: "Stephen": don't ask for whom the hell tolls, it tolls for t

          "...when see clear insanity, won't stay long!"

          You finally answer why you are still here. You must think it is working.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2019 @ 6:47pm

        Re:

        Techdirt didn't. Rowlet goes "Koo!" not "Hoot!"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2019 @ 7:40pm

        Re:

        This one definitely lacks the capacity to evolve.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2019 @ 6:56am

    At and t is very close to the government,protected by a cosy group of lobbyists, and politicians .
    Its mainly a telecom company which is used to wiping out potential competition in broadband and telecom markets .
    Expecting it to compete properly in real diverse markets against disney ,google,
    youtube, netflix and over the air free tv is asking a 50 year old taxi driver to compete
    in F1 racing, no matter how much money or training he has ,
    He will at best provide an average or mediocre performance .
    Once you go above 3 or 4 tv streaming service,s you risk
    simply confusing the consumer and it makes it very hard to
    market a product .
    A t and t is like a giant super tanker.
    it takes a long turn to turn around,
    In a tv market thats changing every month with new streaming service,s launching ,in the streaming video market,
    It needs a smart company thats quick to innovate and compete on price and quality of service to survive .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 12 Sep 2019 @ 7:22am

      Re:

      "A t and t"

      I understand your objection to correct punctuation and capitalisation, even if I disagree with it and know that you're getting less people to read your comments that way.

      But, why would you make the company's name longer to type?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Enhanced Imagining, 12 Sep 2019 @ 7:33am

    Rhetorical Question: Couldn't you find any LESS important topic?

    Like, say, GOOGLE with the claim last week that allowing some cookies protects privacy, a claim that even GOOGLE-funded EFF called "laughable"?

    C'mon. Even your astro-turfing fanboy up there HOOTED this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2019 @ 7:44am

      Re:

      Remember to come up for oxygen every once in a while, patsy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Sep 2019 @ 7:51am

      Couldn't you find any LESS important topic?

      Couldn’t you find a more important topic and submit your own write-up about it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 12 Sep 2019 @ 8:02am

      Re: Rhetorical Question: Couldn't you find any LESS important to

      Because when a topic is so minor as to not to need a write-up, the sane thing to do post 3 times talking about it before the thread's got into triple digits. Right...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Gary (profile), 12 Sep 2019 @ 10:32am

        Re: Re: Rhetorical Question: Couldn't you find any LESS importan

        Amazing that someone who never creates is so obsessed with what actual writers and creates do.

        Blue Balls is fixated on how awful this site is but he just sits at home and complains rather than starting his own blog.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2019 @ 9:13am

      Re: Rhetorical Question: Couldn't you find any LESS important to

      If Google enjoyed half the government pampering that legacy telecom industries do, you'd never stop screeching about it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BroD, 12 Sep 2019 @ 8:04am

    Is TV still a thing?

    If it ain't broadcast, I don't need to watch (and I don't need to watch 99.5% of broadcast.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 12 Sep 2019 @ 8:25am

    Marketing

    If they just called it AT&TDirectTVUverseNow!, it would be a really great product and everyone would want it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 12 Sep 2019 @ 11:33am

    Ok..

    Everyone at the top gets a wage cut in 1/2..
    Prove you are worth the money, and you get a raise.
    Otherwise, in the next year, you will goto SALARY wages..
    And we will rescind(strange word when you need a SC to make an S' sound) your profit sharing..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    bhull242 (profile), 12 Sep 2019 @ 2:25pm

    As we've long noted, telecom companies aren't particularly innovative…

    Well, based on this article, they clearly aren’t great at innovating names for their products/services.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2019 @ 6:15pm

    There once was an out of the blue
    Who hated the process of due
    Each AT&T he'd paid
    Was DMCAed
    And shoved up his ass with a screw

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 13 Sep 2019 @ 4:44am

    We can hope can't we?

    Maybe AT&T will wind up in a price war with itself. Drive its own prices down. We can hope can't we?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wshuff (profile), 13 Sep 2019 @ 5:03am

    Sure the names are confusing, but for an extra $7.99/month you can get on AT&T’s Full Uverse Plan that uses one coherent name for everything. AT&T FU.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Buy Banarasi Silk Suit (profile), 13 Sep 2019 @ 8:14am

    Buy Banarasi Silk Suit

    The Kala Niketan Karol Bagh, New Delhi was incorporated in 1956 by Krisan Lal Raman; We are serving people science such a long time with trust and loyalty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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