Verizon Adding DirecTV to Bundle

Plugging a hole in its consumer bundle, telecom and broadband provider Verizon will offer DirecTV’s satellite TV service to customers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Neither the financial terms, nor duration, of the pact is known. The partnership could be announced as early as today, the newspaper said. Neither company is commenting.

The agreement mirrors two other deals between DirecTV and regional telecoms. This summer, the El Segundo, Calif., company said it would team with BellSouth .

Beginning in January, BellSouth will offer DirecTV in a package that includes DSL, or dial-up Internet acess, local and long-distance calling and wireless.

In addition, DirecTV signed with Denver-based Qwest to make satellite TV services available in Phoenix, Tucson and Seattle as part of a package.

Other carriers have similar strategies, believing that a single point of contact for all residential communications services will reduce customer churn — jumping between service providers. The packages usually reflect discounts compared to purchasing the services separately.

Telecoms also see it as a way of evening the playing field with cable companies, such as Comcast which offer video, phone and high-speed Internet.

The only Baby Bell that hasn’t cast its lot with DirecTV is SBC Communications , with offers satellite TV from EchoStar, which operates the DISH Network, is another example. Those companies will offer bundles in SBC’s coverage area (13 states in the Midwest and West) in early 2004.

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