DENVER and EL SEGUNDO, Calif., October 07, 2004 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) and DIRECTV, Inc., today announced that the companies have formed a strategic marketing alliance that will allow Qwest to offer DIRECTV digital satellite television services to residential customers across the western United States.
Beginning in the first quarter of 2005, Qwest will market and provide front-line customer support for the DIRECTV® service and incorporate it as part of its full suite of bundled communications services. As a result, customers will benefit from the convenience of one point of contact for service and a single bill for all their telecommunications and television services.
?Today?s announcement illustrates our strong commitment to provide the broad array of communications and entertainment services customers have said they want and use the most,? said Richard C. Notebaert, Qwest chairman and CEO. ?Our partnership with DIRECTV gives customers one point of contact for all of their programming needs, including installation, billing and customer service.?
"By offering DIRECTV programming as a core product in Qwest's suite of residential services, Qwest and DIRECTV will provide a simple, yet compelling solution for customers who want the value and convenience of ordering the best voice, video and data services through one provider," said Mitch Stern, president and CEO, DIRECTV, Inc. "With Qwest providing another avenue of distribution for DIRECTV in the marketplace, more consumers will see there is a superior alternative to their local cable provider."
The co-branded service bundle will include:
- Multi-channel Video Services: All channels are delivered in 100 percent digital-quality signals and premier programming, including news, movies, sports, commercial-free audio music channels, access to exclusive programming like the NFL SUNDAY TICKET? and a host of other programming selections. In addition, DIRECTV, for the third consecutive year, received the highest score for customer satisfaction among satellite and cable TV companies rated by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
- Bundling Flexibility: Qwest customers will enjoy better value and convenience in designing their personal communications service portfolio. For example, Qwest will offer bundled discounts on certain combinations of Qwest DSL® and DIRECTV services.
- One Primary Point of Contact: Qwest will manage customer-facing elements, including billing and collection, scheduling installation, marketing and initial point of contact for customer service. DIRECTV will install receiving equipment and provide ongoing customer service.
- Co-branding: The bundled service offering will be co-branded, with Qwest having responsibility for marketing, account management and billing-related inquiries.
?Customers have many communications options today so it?s important for telecommunications providers to be able to offer customers a complete package of services, including video programming,? said Yankee Group analyst Aditya Kishore. "By partnering with DIRECTV, Qwest will provide the convenience of a one-stop shop for consumer communication and entertainment services. The decision to integrate billing and customer care by early next year is particularly significant, since simplicity is a key attraction of the bundle."
As part of the agreement, DIRECTV and Qwest are developing a plan to market Qwest's DSL services to existing DIRECTV customers. Qwest and DIRECTV also have a separate agreement in which Qwest provides DIRECTV service to apartments and other multiple dwelling units.
For more details on DIRECTV service, or other Qwest service combinations, please call 866-896-8911 or go to www.qwest.com.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services. With more than 40,000 employees, Qwest is committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.
DIRECTV is the nation?s leading digital multichannel television service provider with more than 13 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of The DIRECTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV). The DIRECTV Group is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment and broadband satellite networks and services. The DIRECTV Group is 34 percent owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which is approximately 82 percent owned by News Corporation Ltd. For more information visit www.directv.com.
Forward Looking Statement Note
This release may contain projections and other forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: access line losses due to increased competition, including from technology substitution of our access lines with wireless and cable alternatives; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to de-lever our balance sheet through asset sales or other transactions; any adverse outcome of the SEC's current investigation into our accounting policies, practices and procedures and certain transactions; any adverse outcome of the current investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver into certain matters relating to us; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by Congress, regulatory authorities, media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings, including any adverse outcome of current or future legal proceedings related to matters that are the subject of governmental investigations, and, to the extent not covered by insurance, if any, our inability to satisfy any resulting obligations from funds available to us, if any; potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete including the likelihood of certain of our competitors emerging from bankruptcy court protection or otherwise reorganizing their capital structure and competing effectively against us; changes in demand for our products and services; acceleration of the deployment of advanced new services, such as broadband data, wireless and video services, which could require substantial expenditure of financial and other resources in excess of contemplated levels; higher than anticipated employee levels, capital expenditures and operating expenses; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; and changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our significant accounting policies.
The information contained in this release is a statement of Qwest's present intention, belief or expectation and is based upon, among other things, the existing regulatory environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and Qwest's assumptions. Qwest may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in Qwest's assumptions or otherwise. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that Qwest or persons acting on its behalf may issue. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties for which Qwest assumes no responsibility.
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