The two companies are discussing a deal that would involve a mixture of cash and AT&T stock but that would have DirecTV's management run the company as a unit of AT&T. According to people close to the matter, an agreement could be reached in the next two weeks with the final price hovering in the low- to mid-nineties per DirecTV share.
A $95 per share deal would value DirecTV at nearly $48 billion.
AT&T are expected to pay for the deal with shares, which would help AT&T limit their borrowings and maintain their credit rating.
Satellite TV subscriptions have been peaking in the U.S. because more people are watching TV online. By combining DirecTV with its wireless and broadband services, AT&T will seek to offer a competitive package.
"With DirecTV they are getting a national TV presence -- they can sell TV with wireless nationwide," said Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics, based in Dedham, Massachusetts.
DirecTV has been expanding in Latin America as well and is also generating higher monthly bills from U.S. customers.