Zack's hails DirecTV NFL renewal as positive for AT&T; Telstra signs new NNI agreement with Tata

Wireline news from across the web:

> Analyst firm Zack's sees DirecTV's eight-year $1.5 billion per annum deal Sunday Ticket renewal with the NFL as a "step forward regarding its proposed merger with telecom giant AT&T." Analyst's note

> Verizon will pay a quarterly dividend of 55 cents a share on Nov. 3, which is 2 cents more than Verizon's previous quarterly dividend of 53 cents. Story

> CenturyLink has made Microsoft Office 365 for businesses, including cloud-enabled Microsoft Office applications and other productivity services, available at no extra charge with CenturyLink's voice and data bundles and managed services bundles for new small and midsized business customers. Press release

> Australian telco Telstra has signed a new network-to-network interconnections (NNI) agreement with Tata Communications that should boost telecommunications connectivity to and from India and Australia. Story

Cable News
> Proving that it doesn't forsake all programming conglomerates, just Viacom, Suddenlink has inked a new carriage agreement with Discovery Communications. Article

Wireless News
> BlackBerry executive Alec Saunders, who led the company's developer relations team and has been a key figure at the firm's QNX subsidiary as it has pushed into the Internet of Things market, is leaving the company in the next few weeks.  Article

And finally… A "limited number" of AT&T customers in some Wisconsin markets experienced hardware issues associated with a specific model of gateway equipment connected to their U-verse TV and Internet services. Story