AT&T and DirecTV is getting into the streaming-only TV game, and they’re doing so in a big way. According to AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson, their forthcoming DirecTV Now service will cost $35 a month and will include over 100 channels. Stephenson, seen at center above at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live conference in Laguna Beach, CA Tuesday alongside Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes as part of their tour to promote those companies’ proposed $85 billion merger, said at that conference that the service is set to launch next month. Here are more details from Variety‘s Janko Roettgers:
AT&T’s upcoming DirecTV Now streaming service is going to cost $35 a month, revealed AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson during a panel at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live conference in Laguna Beach, Calif., Tuesday. The package will include more than 100 channels, he said.
This price point is a significant departure from the company’s previous stance, when it suggested that it would launch a premium product that wasn’t looking to undercut existing pay TV services. Stephenson argued that it can afford this lower price point because DirecTV Now doesn’t require operator-owned set-top boxes, satellite dishes, and customer service home visits.
AT&T is set to launch DirecTV Now next month. The service will include channels from cablers like A+E Networks and Scripps, as well as broadcasters like Fox and NBCUniversal.
It makes sense that DirecTV can offer this cheaper than their traditional service thanks to not having to use satellite dishes and have techs come out, but it’s interesting to see them getting more into competing with other streaming-TV services. This is still a bit more premium, as it sounds like DirecTV will have a wider channel lineup and charge a higher price than some of those alternatives, but the price gap isn’t as substantial as many initially imagined it would be.
This could be worth checking out for sports fans. There’s no confirmation of exactly what’s in that channel lineup right now, but Fox and NBC is a good start, and it was reported in September that they have a deal with Disney (which owns ESPN and ABC). We’ll see just what sports channels are in this and how good the channel lineup actually is, but 100-plus channels at this price point may convince some who wouldn’t normally leave the cable bundle to check this out instead. It will be well worth watching how this is received.