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AT&T Offers Abundance of Branded Pay-TV

Is it possible that well-intentioned branding strategy can become a potential business liability, not an asset? That's the question that comes to mind as AT&T launches yet another brand into the mix of their consumer service offerings.

AT&T Inc. today launched the previously announced 'AT&T Homezone,' a new service that integrates AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet, AT&T | DISH Network satellite television and AT&T Home Networking services via a single device.

The new AT&T Homezone service provides Internet-based video with satellite TV programming in a 'seamless' in-home experience, giving consumers a way to extend the best of the Internet beyond the desktop to bring entertainment content to their TV screens and stereos. It features digital video recording, movies on demand, photo- and music-sharing, storage for both, and enables anytime/anywhere remote Web-based access to the system.

With this service, AT&T becomes the first major U.S. telecommunications provider to offer video content and TV entertainment to the "digital living room" through both broadband and traditional satellite networks. AT&T Homezone is only initially available in the company's broadband footprint throughout the state of Ohio � and in San Antonio. AT&T plans to roll out Homezone in additional markets in the AT&T service area where AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet access is available in the coming months (to be announced, seperately).

AT&T Homezone is available to new AT&T | DISH Network residential customers who either already have or plan to order AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet and the 2Wire home networking gateway. Customers can select from several broadband speeds and satellite TV packages, then purchase Homezone service for an additional $9.99 a month.

The company says AT&T Homezone digital satellite-based pay-TV and DSL-based internet access services 'complements' AT&T U-verse services, which include the seperate IPTV-based video service plus integrated broadband internet access, which recently became more widely available in San Antonio and will be available in additional markets (to be announced, seperately) by year-end. While AT&T U-verse services will be the company's 'primary video offer' in available markets, both offerings underscore the company's strategy to expand its video services portfolio, which includes AT&T | DISH Network service.

However, don't misinterpret the context in AT&T's use of the word 'complement,' because consumers likely would subscribe to AT&T Homezone OR AT&T U-verse, but not both. From a mainstream consumer's perspective, AT&T's pay-TV service alternatives may be difficult to fully comprehend.

Furthermore, AT&T employees who conduct consumer demonstrations of these entertainment services will surely have to choose their words carefully as they explain the limited availability, linear channel programming, on-demand video content, with related service feature and pricing options.

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