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BellSouth debuts DirecTV service

The local phone giant starts selling access to the satellite TV network in a bundle with phone and broadband services.

BellSouth on Tuesday began offering satellite TV service from DirecTV to its customers. The Atlanta-based carrier is bundling DirecTV into its package of phone service (local, long-distance and wireless) and broadband service for a single fee.

The launch comes nearly a year after BellSouth and DirecTV first announced their partnership, part of a trend among the Baby Bells to add satellite TV to their line-up. The alliances illustrate a defensive move by the regional phone giants to combat the cable industry's success in selling packages of video, voice and broadband Internet service.