Q. I went to sign up today for AT&T TV Now on my Roku Premiere and I couldn’t find it. I thought it was on Roku. After all, it’s only the biggest streaming device out there. What’s the deal, TV Answer Man? — Eddie, Biloxi, Mississippi.
Eddie, I have to inform you that as of January 1, 2020, AT&T TV Now, the live streaming service formerly known as DIRECTV Now, can no longer be added to your Roku lineup. However, if you previously subscribed to AT&T TV Now via Roku, you can still use it on the streaming device.
Let’s allow AT&T to offer an explanation, which comes from its web site:
“Starting January 1, 2020, you won’t be able to add the AT&T TV channel to your Roku device. Already have AT&T TV on your Roku device? You can keep using it as long as you don’t delete the app. We’re actively working on a new agreement with Roku and hope to resolve this soon.”
Despite the statement, I suspect the sudden change is no coincidence, nor does it have anything to do with a carriage agreement between AT&T and Roku. I predicted a few days ago that AT&T this year will close AT&T TV Now, and convert the service’s subscribers to AT&T TV, a new streaming offering which will go nationwide next month.
(Note: AT&T TV, which the company sees as an eventual replacement for DIRECTV’s satellite business, offers a group of programming packages with lineups similar to the satcaster.)
Here’s an excerpt from my prediction:
“The live streaming service, AT&T TV Now, which used to be called DIRECTV Now, has been rapidly losing subscribers over the last year. It also seems obvious to me that AT&T will close it soon after it launches AT&T TV, if for no other reason to simplify its now-confusing offering of TV services,” I wrote.
It would make sense that AT&T TV Now’s departure from Roku has something to do with this. I believe AT&T wants to do away with AT&T TV Now in the near future so why add more subscribers now via Roku, which, as you note, Eddie, is the nation’s leading streaming device.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann