At some point (long) in the future, AT&T will retire the DirecTV and U-verse names. It only makes sense from a business standpoint; AT&T spent billions to buy DirecTV, and aside from pinning "Now part of the AT&T family" to recent advertisements, the company has done little else to make consumers aware of the colossal acquisition. But the link will get much more obvious next month, when AT&T's globe becomes part of DirecTV's own logo. That change was outlined in a memo published by DSL Reports. For the near-term, though, that's where the consumer-facing changes will end. This isn't going to be a sudden retirement.
"AT&T will be our corporate brand moving forward but we will continue for the foreseeable future to use DirecTV as a product name given its strength in the market," an AT&T spokesperson told The Verge. AT&T's globe will also be affixed to the U-verse logo, so the two services will share very similar branding in the new year.
But what happens when you look farther into the future? AT&T has already confirmed that DirecTV and U-verse will ultimately come together under a unified, next-generation TV platform built upon both cable and satellite. Once that happens, the plan, per the memo, is to "transition all TV product names to AT&T Entertainment to symbolize our move to a single entertainment portfolio."
It's a logical step, since operating two separate pay-TV services indefinitely doesn't seem very smart. But we're still a long way from AT&T executing on that idea. The company hasn't yet spelled out its vision for what a combined platform would look like, and it may well still be researching the best approach. So for now the DirecTV name — synonymous with NFL Sunday Ticket and those weird Rob Lowe ads — will remain the one AT&T pushes as its primary TV offering. But even if "AT&T Entertainment" doesn't roll off the tongue, count us interested in (eventually) hearing about AT&T's next era of TV services.