With AT&T preparing to officially launch its new DirecTV Now streaming service on Monday, we’re getting more and more details about what networks will be included and which networks will not.

Earlier this week, DirecTV announced that Fox’s networks will be part of the service. That left CBS as one of the bigger holdouts and according to Bloomberg, unless there’s an 11th hour agreement, it appears that it won’t be on DirecTV Now at the outset.

This stalemate is going to be watched closely to see who will have the hammer, CBS or AT&T. If DirecTV Now with its over 100 channels and $35/month pricetag is successful, then that could force CBS to put its proverbial tail between its legs and join at AT&T’s subscriber fee.

But if DirecTV Now doesn’t get off the ground, CBS could play some real hardball and force AT&T to pay its asking price. CBS has already signed up to join YouTube’s streaming service and Bloomberg says Google is willing to pay more than the traditional cable companies.

CBS’ refusal to join DirecTV Now is not just for the broadcast network, but also includes CBS Sports Network, Pop, Smithsonian Channel and Showtime. So this is a fight that may be protracted as both CBS and AT&T play a waiting game to see if the DirecTV Now streaming service is successful.

Overall, AT&T is gambling that its service will bring subscribers who are longing for pay TV, but don’t want the hassle of a large receiver.

DirecTV will offer a free Amazon Fire Stick for those who sign up for one month and a free Apple TV set top box if they go for three months. It’s going to be interesting to see if the incentives will bring people to the table and if the whole thing takes off, will it cause CBS to sign on? It’s going to be a few interesting months ahead.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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