AT & T will soon launch several new ways for subscribers to consume live and premium video content. Starting November 30, the telecommunications and cable provider will make available DirecTV Now, FreeView, and Fullscreen; options which it hopes providers users with more options to get the video they want, when they want it.
We are extending our entertainment portfolio for those who value premium content but also want more TV freedom suited for their lifestyle, whether watching at home or on their mobile devices, said AT & T Entertainment Group chief executive John Stankey in a statement.
AT & T is taking the DirecTV dependency service it acquired two years ago to the web with new streaming services. Consumers can subscribe to various level of DirecTV Now, which launches Wednesday, to stream 60 to 120-plus channels, starting at $35 monthly.
AT & T excepts DirecTV Now to application to the growing market of consumers shaving their pay-TV services or eschewing them all together, says John Stankey, CEO of AT & T’s entertainment group. DirecTV Now allows the telecommunications giant to “address a new audience”, he said.
The big news here though is the launch of DirecTV Now, which will compete with traditional and even new age cable providers such as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu, YouTube, and many others.
Subscribers will be able to stream live sports, on demand, premium channels, popular shows and movies onto their phone, tablet, or TV.
DirecTV Now will debut on Wednesday at prices ranging from $35 a month for over 60 channels to $70 for over 120 channels, AT&T said. For a limited time, more than 100 channels will be available for $35, the company said.
To make it more engaging, AT & T is offering several custom packages, with the difference being the number of channels you receive. The deals start at $35 per month for 60 channels and go up to $70 per month for 120 channels.
Rather than require consumers to sign ling term contracts and buy or rent pay TV boxes, DirecTV Now is likely subscribing to an app, Stankey says, And AT & T wireless subscribers can stream DirecTV Now without counting towards their data limit.
That and the multiple price entry points puts us in a very unique position from a cost structure in the market, stankey said.
AT & T also plans to buy Time Warner Inc for $85.4 billion to gain control of premium content from networks such as HBO, as online video competition is expected to heat up.
DirecTV Now will bring over the top access to most major broadcast networks except for CBS, and popular cable networks, minus Showtime.
Its channel lineup will include top networks thanks to deal with 21st century Fox’s cable networks, wait Disney,newly-acquired Time Warner, and others.
DirecTV Now will also offer a cloud DVR starting next year, the company announced. However, it’s currently limited to only 2 simultaneous streams, which puts it at a disadvantage.
DirecTV Now will have home exclusive programming, which it hopes will help it draw in new subscribers. This will include its own Original shows, like Taylor Swift’s 13-episode series Taylor Swift Now, arriving in a few weeks.
AT & T executives also gave a quick tour of the product. The user understanding feels more Netflix-like, compared with streaming TV rivals like Sling TV or Vue. Instead of a linear guide, DirecTV Now’s home page showcases live shows as well as those you were previously watching, along with your custom Watch list.