AT&T Looks to Replace Satellite TV with ‘Self-Installed, Full Linear Product’ Osprey

AT&T CFO John Stephens told investors Tuesday that the company’s new Android TV powered set-top, which it calls Osprey, will be a true replacement for linear satellite TV and its associated truck rolls.

“The biggest cost we have is the truck roll and getting that installation out,” Stephens said at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. (Transcript courtesy of Seeking Alpha.)

“We’ve been beta testing it within our employee base a thing called Osprey, which is a self-installed, full linear product,” he explained. “You don't have to do a roll the truck, pull out a ladder, climb the roof and put out a satellite dish. You can hook this box into your fiber line, your broadband line--whether it's ours or somebody else's--so effectively the only truck roll is the UPS truck.”

AT&T employees actually leaked technical documents surrounding Osprey on Reddit in September of last year. AT&T executives had talked about replacing satellite TV with an IP-based video service, but this is the first time they have officially acknowledged Osprey. 

“It dramatically reduces our install cost, dramatically reduces our subscriber acquisition costs—[it’s] very cost friendly—and we're working to get that right. That will be the next step in taking costs out that makes it more efficient and allows us to provide customers a price point that they can afford and partnering with our content guys and with our own selves to make economics work,” Stephens said. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!