For me, this is awful. I'm not even sure whether this is the company I knew as AT&T or the other, SBC, also known as The New AT&T. The lines have blurred that much.
In any case, there must have been something amazing in the deal for the people at DirecTV to accept it. I can't imagine what.
Currently, since I'm moving, and don't even have a TV, my DirecTV account has been suspended until the time I call and either cancel or reactivate it.
There are no good alternatives. If I go with a Cable TV provider, the rates will increase rapidly, and they will likely play games. I didn't like Time-Warner Cable or BrightHouse Networks as they played games with the truth and my connection, and seeing as how Comcast couldn't fix their own problems, I certainly don't want them. Dish Network was my mum's provider (after Comcast) and the installer didn't tell her that there would be no clear signal because of trees, so she got a lot of crap. When she called, they would either tell her that there was no problem or they would hang up on her or both. That doesn't sound like a company I want to know.
However, depending on where I live, I may not have a choice. If I rent an apartment not set up for it, they might not allow DirecTV. Equally, a homeowner renting his/her house, may no appreciate the dish on their house. I'm sure I'll learn all about it in June.
If SBC is the company buying DirecTV, I'm sure that there will be billing problems. It wasn't that long ago that they were sending out 3000 page phone bills, operating as though they were still in the 1950s. In 2012 I ordered a mobile hotspot, and while it was on its 3 day journey, they charged me for data usage. Besides, this is the company that regularly complains about their smart phone users costing them money.
I saw something earlier about the NFL rights being something special and that it is the main reason for the purchase, and that they've set a clause that says that the merger will cease if DirecTV doesn't continue to have the rights.
I really hope that things DirecTV remain the same, no matter who is in charge.
Update 2015.12.09: The purchase has been finished. The name is likely to change in January to combine all of the new AT&T's entertainment branches into a combined brand.
The company has been pushing DirecTV customers to go to AT&T Wireless for phones. Considering their problems with billing, customer service, and that the administration calls their customers a problem far too often, I have no desire to deal with them.