AT&T confirmed yesterday that by year’s end it will launch a streaming service that offers the same lineup as DIRECTV, but at a lower price.
Since November 2016, the telco has offered DIRECTV Now, the live streaming service that features programming packages starting at $35 a month. However, DIRECTV Now’s plans do not include all the channels available via its sister satellite TV service. The lineups are smaller to keep prices lower.
But AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson yesterday told a JP Morgan investors conference that the new streaming service, which he said will be launched in the fourth quarter, will be targeted to consumers who still want a large bundle of channels.
“You (will) have the full DIRECTV experience over any broadband service that you might have in your home,” Stephenson said, according to a transcript supplied by Seeking Alpha. “So a premium video experience is going to be, rather than $110 to $200 (a month), it’s going to be in that $80 to $90 area because the cost structure (of delivering video over the Internet) comes way down.”
Stephenson added: “Think about our traditional DIRECTV product at a much lower cost point, meaning you don’t have satellites on roofs. You don’t have truck rolls. In fact, to provision this, the only truck roll required is going to be a UPS truck to deliver a very thin piece of hardware that you plug into your TV and your broadband outlet.”
The new service will be separate from DIRECTV Now and will carry the DIRECTV name. By delivering DIRECTV’s lineup over the Net, AT&T will be able to sell it to consumers who are unable to install a dish in their homes.
Stephenson yesterday also said the company would launch yet another streaming service if its merger with Time Warner is approved by a federal court. (The decision is expected next month.) Called Watch TV, the service will cost $15 a month and will include a relatively small number of channels.
“The content is a very skinny bundle. There is no sports. There are no local channels. This is pretty much entertainment and the Time Warner content,” Stephenson said.
Once both Watch TV and the new DIRECTV-branded streamer launches, AT&T will have five different TV services to choose from:
DIRECTV, the satellite dish, DIRECTV, the streamer, U-verse, DIRECTV Now, and Watch TV.
“There’s video packets for everybody,” Stephenson said.
AT&T yesterday also unveiled some new enhancements for DIRECTV Now, including DVR service.
— Phillip Swann