News Analysis
DIRECTV Now just celebrated its first birthday (debuted November 30, 2016) and AT&T lit the candles by announcing the live streaming service now has more than one million subscribers.

But can you imagine how many subscribers DIRECTV Now would have if it were available on the XBox One and the PlayStation 4?

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Yes, that’s right. After more than year in service, the streamer still isn’t available on the nation’s two leading gaming consoles. DIRECTV Now can be viewed via Amazon’s Fire TV, the Apple TV, Roku, Google’s Chromecast, select Roku TV models, and numerous phone and tablets as well as computers.

But not the PlayStation or XBox.

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The omissions are glaring considering that the two gaming consoles reach scores of millions of people. But what’s even more interesting is that AT&T, which owns DIRECTV Now, has not even offered a promise that the streaming service will eventually be on the XBox or PlayStation.

In the first few months after its launch,  when DIRECTV Now was not available on Roku, AT&T issued a firm pledge that it would eventually happen. And it finally did.

So what’s up with the PlayStation and XBox? Does AT&T think gamers wouldn’t be interested in subscribing to a streaming service?

Well, we know that’s not it. Both gaming consoles offer a variety of streaming services such as Netflix and Vudu. And the PlayStation, which is owned by Sony, has its own live streaming service, the PlayStation Vue.

And therein lies the problem with DIRECTV Now and the PlayStation. So long as Sony’s gaming console includes its own live streaming service, it’s highly unlikely that it will ever carry DIRECTV Now. The live streaming business is competitive enough as it is; Sony doesn’t want Vue to have to fight for subscribers on its own turf.

But what about XBox One?

It says here that AT&T will eventually get a deal with Microsoft to include DIRECTV Now. Microsoft currently does not own a competing product in the live streaming category. So if DIRECTV Now continues to grow — and generate more revenue — it would seem to be a matter of time for the companies to come together.

In fact, at the DIRECTV Now Help section, the live streamer simply says that it’s not available yet on the XBox.

But it doesn’t even list the PlayStation as a device under the ‘Not Yet Available’ category, which is more evidence of the improbability that DIRECTV Now will ever be on the PlayStation.

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— Phillip Swann