U-verse TV
FoundedJune 26, 2006; 16 years ago (2006-06-26)
FateSplit into three separate brands; AT&T Phone
AT&T Internet (AT&T Fiber)
U-verse TV
Areas served
Select US States

U-verse TV is a DirecTV brand of IPTV service. Launched on June 26, 2006, U-verse included broadband Internet (now AT&T Internet or AT&T Fiber), IP telephone (now AT&T Phone), and IPTV (U-verse TV) services in 48 states.[1][2]

In September 2016, AT&T announced that the "U-verse" brand would no longer apply to its broadband and phone services, renaming them "AT&T Internet" and "AT&T Phone", respectively.[3][4][5]

On February 25, 2021, AT&T announced that it would spin off DirecTV, U-verse and AT&T TV into a separate entity, selling a 30% stake to TPG Capital while retaining a 70% stake in the new standalone company. The deal was closed on August 2, 2021.[6][7]


SBC Communications announced its plans for a fiber-optic network and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) deployment in 2004 and unveiled the name "U-verse" (formerly "Project Lightspeed"[8]) for the suite of network services in 2005. SBC eventually became AT&T in late 2005, and the AT&T name was applied for the service. Beta testing began in San Antonio in 2005 and AT&T U-verse was commercially launched June 26, 2006, in San Antonio. A few months later on November 30, 2006, the service was launched in Houston. In December 2006, the product launched in Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Hartford, Indianapolis, and other cities in their vicinities. In February 2007, U-verse was launched in Milwaukee. One month later, service was initiated in Dallas and Kansas City. In May 2007, U-verse launched in Detroit, Los Angeles, and surrounding areas. Launch continued in Cleveland, Akron, and San Diego in June 2007. The Oklahoma City and Sacramento launches occurred in August 2007. In November 2007, service was started in Austin. In December 2007, U-verse was launched in Orlando and St. Louis. A controlled launch was also initiated in Atlanta that month marking the first launch in the Southeastern United States.[1] On December 22, 2008, the product debuted in Birmingham.[9] On January 25, 2010, AT&T announced that U-verse was available to over 2.8 million households.[1]

AT&T Phone (formerly known as AT&T U-verse Voice) was added on January 22, 2008, and was first available in Detroit.[10] In 2008, U-verse availability approached 8 million households and over 225,000 customers had been enrolled, with new installations reaching 12,000 per week.[1] By 2009, 1 million Phone customers and 2.1 million U-verse TV customers had been enrolled.[11]

At the end of 2011, U-verse was available to more than 30 million living units in 22 states and U-verse TV had 3.8 million customers.[12] By mid-2012, AT&T had 4.1 million U-Verse TV subscribers, 2.6 million Phone subscribers, and 6.5 million Internet subscribers.[13]

By the third quarter of 2012, AT&T had 4.3 million TV subscribers, 2.7 million Phone subscribers and 7.1 million Internet. This represents 7% growth quarter on quarter. The actual number of customers is lower, as most customers subscribe to a bundle (such as TV and Phone) and so are counted in both categories.[14]

At an analyst meeting in August 2015, following AT&T's acquisition of satellite provider DirecTV, AT&T announced plans for a new "home entertainment gateway" platform that will converge DirecTV and U-verse around a common platform based upon DirecTV hardware with "very thin hardware profiles". AT&T Entertainment and Internet Services CEO John Stankey explained that the new platform would offer "single truck roll installation for multiple products, live local streaming, improved content portability, over-the-top integration for mobile broadband, and user interface re-engineering."[15][16]

In February 2016, Bloomberg reported that AT&T was in the process of phasing out the U-verse IPTV service by encouraging new customers to purchase DirecTV satellite service instead, and by ending the production of new set-top boxes for the service. An AT&T spokesperson denied that U-verse was being shut down and explained that the company was "leading its video marketing approach with DirecTV" to "realize the many benefits" of the purchase, but would still recommend U-verse TV if it better-suited a customer's needs. AT&T CFO John Stephens had also previously stated that DirecTV's larger subscriber base as a national service gave the service a higher degree of leverage in negotiating carriage deals, thus resulting in lower content costs.[17][18]

On March 29, 2016, AT&T announced that it would increase data caps on its Internet service on May 23, 2016.[19][20]

On May 16, 2016, AT&T acquired Quickplay Media, a cloud-based platform that powers over-the-top video services.[21]

On September 19, 2016, AT&T announced that the "U-verse" brand would no longer apply to its broadband and phone services, renaming them "AT&T Internet" and "AT&T Phone", respectively.[3][4][5] AT&T adopted "AT&T Fiber" as the new brand name for its fiber-based internet service, with the "AT&T Internet" brand continuing to be used for its DSL internet service.

On April 25, 2017, AT&T reported that it had lost 233,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2017.[22][23]

In selected markets, AT&T began to replace AT&T U-verse TV with a new service based on its DirecTV Now platform, AT&T TV, in August 2019.[24][25][26]

On April 3, 2020, AT&T began announcing that U-verse would no longer be available to new customers. New customers ended up receiving AT&T TV for TV service.[27] However, by September 2020 AT&T spokesman Ryan Oliver, when asked if AT&T was still selling U-verse, said that “U-verse is available in select locations,” and "AT&T never stopped selling U-verse", even though an AT&T customer attempted to order U-verse, but ended up receiving 2 boxes of AT&T TV instead.[28]

On August 2, 2021, the spin off of DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse was completed. It is now a wholly owned subsidiary of DirecTV.



AT&T U-verse's electronic program guide
AT&T U-verse's electronic program guide

AT&T used the Ericsson Mediaroom platform to deliver U-verse TV via IPTV from the headend to the consumer's receiver,[29] required for each TV. Transmissions use digital H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) encoding, compared to the existing deployments of MPEG-2 codec and the discontinued analog cable TV system. The receiver box does not have a RF tuner, but is an IP multicast client that requests the channel or "stream" desired. U-Verse TV supports up to four/six active streams at once, depending on service tier. The system uses individual unicasts for video on demand, central time shifting, start-over services and other programs.

U-verse TV packages

AT&T grouped its general channels into progressive packages (U-family, U200, U300, and U450); each adds channels to the package before it, with rare exceptions. All subscribers receive at least the equivalent of the U-family package, which also includes 65 of the 75 Stingray Music channels. Many U-family channels were also available on the historical U-basic package.[30] The historical U400 package is identical to the U450 package, except that U450 automatically includes the HD Services package.[31]

Specialty channels were grouped into a la carte packages, which can be combined with the general packages: The Sports Package; ESPN College Extra; Fox Soccer Plus HD; NBA League Pass; HD Services; HD Premium Tier; Paquete Español; and Adult. Paquete Español can be combined with a higher-tier package and is then called U200 Latino, U300 Latino, or U450 Latino. Additionally, channels grouped as Internationals are available a la carte in language groups or singly, and a number of premium movie packages are available to premium package or higher-tier subscribers. High-definition TV technology is required to access HD channels.

U-verse during most of its lifespan had 5 member channels: ATTention (channels 400, 962 in SD and 1100, 1400, 2500 in HD), Buzz (channels 300, 851, 961 in SD and 1000, 1300, 1851 in HD), Front Row (channels 100, 847 in SD and 1847 in HD), Showcase (channels 800, 964 in SD and 1800 in HD), Sports (channels 600, 801, 963 in SD and 1600, 1801 in HD), and U-verse Movies (channels 200, 800, 945, 960 in SD and 1200, 1850 in HD) . These removed from the AT&T U-verse TV channel lineup on February 26, 2016.

Channel groupings

Carriage negotiations

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "AT&T U-verse Timeline" (pdf). AT&T. 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  2. ^ Post Alexander, Atlanta, Ga., p. 24. Archived 2013-01-22 at archive.today
  3. ^ a b Bode, Karl (September 19, 2016). "AT&T is Getting Rid of the U-Verse Brand". DSL Reports. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Arnason, Bernie (September 19, 2016). "AT&T Says Goodbye to U-verse". Telecompetitor.com. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Farrell, Mike (September 20, 2016). "AT&T Readies U-verse Brand for Ether". MultiChannel News. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  6. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (February 25, 2021). "WarnerMedia Parent AT&T Sells DirecTV Stake To Private Equity Firm TPG". Deadline.
  7. ^ Hayes, Dade (August 2, 2021). "AT&T Completes DirecTV Spinoff; Satellite Operator Unites Its Internet-Delivered Bundles Under New Brand DirecTV Stream". Deadline Hollywood.
  8. ^ U-verse TV Timeline
  9. ^ "AT&T U-verse TV Service Arrives in Birmingham". AT&T Press. Archived from the original on July 1, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "AT&T U-verse Timeline" (PDF). Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  11. ^ AT&T U-verse Voice Digital Home Phone Service Reaches 1 Million Lines
  12. ^ Best-Ever Mobile Broadband Sales and Strong Cash Flows Highlight AT&T's Fourth-Quarter Results
  13. ^ "U-verse Update: 2Q12" (PDF). Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  14. ^ U-verse Update: 3Q12
  15. ^ Bode, Karl (August 14, 2015). "AT&T Outlines the Changes DirecTV (and U-Verse) Users Will See". DSL Reports. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  16. ^ Baumgartner, Jeff (August 17, 2015). "AT&T to Put 'Genie' Into U-Verse's Bottle". MultiChannel News. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
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  18. ^ Baumgarnter, Jeff (February 16, 2016). "AT&T Stops Making U-verse TV Boxes: Report". MultiChannel News. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  19. ^ Brodkin, Jon (March 29, 2016). "AT&T boosts data caps for home Internet and steps up enforcement". ArsTechnica. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
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  29. ^ AT&T U-verse Total Home DVR
  30. ^ Channel Directory: AT&T U-verse [January 2014]
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  32. ^ "Hallmark Channels Go Dark On AT&T U-verse". Multichannel News. September 1, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
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