CRN Exclusive: In Time Warner Megamerger Aftermath, AT&T Is Adding DirecTV To Partner Exchange Program


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For the first time, AT&T's Partner Exchange program's solution providers will be able to sell TV through a referral model.

AT&T is introducing its satellite television service DirecTV to its APEX partners based on feedback it's been receiving from its solution provider community, the carrier said in a letter to partners.

The move to add TV to the APEX portfolio comes on the heels of AT&T's landmark $85.4 billion megamerger with entertainment powerhouse Time Warner, which closed earlier in June.

[Related: AT&T Transferring Data Center Operations To Brookfield For $1.1B Following Time Warner Deal]

"We’re introducing DIRECTV to the Partner Exchange," AT&T said in its letter to APEX partners. "It will enhance your portfolio, provide competitive compensation and grow your tier revenue."

An AT&T Partner Exchange solution provider that asked not to be named said the addition to the portfolio is welcome.

"We get frequent calls from customers asking about TV. You can't go into any office anymore without seeing TVs, so it makes sense, especially with AT&T closing the Time Warner deal," the solution provider executive said.

AT&T has created a brand-new selling model for partners, which the Dallas-based carrier said is due to resell restrictions for DirecTV. The AT&T Partner Exchange DirecTV Sales model will let solution providers develop the sale and pass it off to AT&T's dedicated sales team that will close, install and maintain the account, the carrier said. This model will give partners a one-time commission, and AT&T promised "minimal investment in materials and training" for partners.

AT&T's Alliance Channel, its partner program designed for agent partners, has had access to sell DirecTV to their end customers via a referral model since AT&T acquired DirecTV in 2015. The latest move to make DirecTV available to APEX partners is an expansion of the carrier's entertainment strategy, a spokesperson for the carrier told CRN.

Prior to this announcement, APEX partners who wanted to sell DirecTV had to become an authorized dealer via the AT&T Partner Exchange DirecTV Dealer Fulfillment plan. This model gives partners the power to sell, install and service their DirecTV accounts. This plan also yields a one-time commission for partners, as well as a reoccurring monthly residual. Partners who chose this model retain full control of the product.

The carrier has not released an exact date as to when APEX resellers can begin selling DirecTV via the referral model.

The target customers for DirecTV include lodging and hospitality, such as hotels, dormitories, bars and restaurants, as well as customers with waiting areas or break rooms in their office locations, according to AT&T.

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