The TV Answer Man!

DIRECTV Now Is Fixed, Say AT&T Execs

AT&T is expected to soon launch an aggressive marketing campaign for DIRECTV Now because it believes the live streamer has fixed the technical problems that plagued it in the first few months of service.

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That’s according to Wells Fargo senior analyst Jennifer Fritzsche who says she was recently briefed by AT&T executives.  Fritzsche’s comments were reported by WirelessWeek.com.

AT&T said earlier this year that DIRECTV Now generated more than 200,000 paying customers at the end of its first month of service. (DTV Now debuted on November 30.)

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But Bloomberg reports that the streamer actually lost 3,000 subscribers overall in the months of February and March, in large part because people dropped the service due to everything from picture buffering to incorrect sports blackouts to login issues.

While some industry observers say DIRECTV Now did somewhat better than that in the early part of 2017, it’s clear that its subscription growth slowed and the technical snafus were the likely cause.


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AT&T executives have even refused to reveal DIRECTV Now’s first quarter subscription numbers, but they acknowledged reducing its marketing effort on the service to concentrate on the technical problems.

But the Wells Fargo analyst says the AT&T execs now believe DIRECTV Now is “over the hump,” meaning its streaming platform is stable and relatively error-free. (Not all DRIECTV Now subscribers would agree.) Consequently, the telco will soon ramp up the marketing push to bring in more customers who can experience the ‘improved’ DIRECTV Now.

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Previously, AT&T feared that bringing in more subscribers would only tax DIRECTV Now’s system further, leading to more technical errors.

AT&T recently launched DIRECTV Now’s first national ad spot which featured actor Mark Wahlbergm and a bundle offer that combined the live streaming service with AT&T’s Internet plan.

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“While the (live streaming) video space is indeed competitive, a key differentiator for DTV Now is the ability to integrate with wireless and/or broadband with the added benefit of a bundled discount a customer gets by combining products,” Fritzsche writes, according to WirelessWeek.com. “This should improve the overall retention of these customers to AT&T services.”

— Phillip Swann