owns-directv Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images News/Getty Images

On May 18, 2014, AT&T announced that it had “entered into a definitive agreement” to buy DIRECTV for stock and cash valued at $95 a share. The boards of directors of both companies have voted unanimously in favor of the deal, which is subject to federal approval. Previously, DIRECTV was owned and operated by The DIRECTV Group and Hughes Corporation.

DIRECTV’s proposed merger with AT&T will combine AT&T’s expertise in telephony and mobile computing with DIRECTV’s distribution services and its 20,265,000 subscriber base. DIRECTV launched June 17, 1994, with 320,000 subscribers to provide satellite television to the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. By October 1994, DIRECTV service became available nationwide in the United States.

As with cable television, subscribers choose programming bundles that offer different kinds of programming and more or fewer channels for different monthly rates. Famous for its sports packages that offer most out-of-market games for Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NBA, NCAA March Madness, etc., DIRECTV also offers over 185 high-definition channels. Built on a service model similar to cable television, DIRECTV provides subscribers with a satellite receiver and dish to receive programming direct in their homes. Some of the many advantages are clarity of picture, CD-quality sound and reliable signal even in bad weather. DIRECTV common stock, symbol DTV, is traded publicly on the NASDAQ exchange.