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DirecTV, Qwest Join Forces

El Segundo, Calif. — DirecTV and Denver-based telecommunications provider Qwest Communications International announced 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 DirecTV service and incorporate it into Qwest’s bundled communications services. The packages will be cobranded, the companies said.

Qwest customers will work through the telecommunications provider as a primary point of contact for telecommunications and television issues, and will pay a single consolidated monthly bill for those services.

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.

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.

“Our partnership with DirecTV gives customers one point of contact for all of their programming needs, including installation, billing and customer service,” said Ricard Notebaert, Qwest’s CEO.

“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,” said Mitch Stern, DirecTV CEO.