Emerging streaming service DirecTV Now says it plans a major upgrade in the first quarter of 2018. The improvements will include a cloud DVR service, which has been sorely lacking on the service, support for pay-per-view events (UFC, WWE, and boxing), an improved user-friendly experience, and the opportunity to have simultaneous video streams.
Wells Fargo analysts issued a report about the upgrades last week.
“DTV Now 2.0 is coming,” the Wells Fargo analysts wrote. “Importantly, this will streamline the User Interface (UI) for the customer (T currently has different UIs for DTV, DTV Now, U-verse and Sunday Ticket). This upgrade will also likely bring with it some additional functionality (i.e. Cloud DVR, additional streams, etc.). Timing is expected in Q1’18 (when we expect T will also own a lot more content and have some anchor tenants to build around DTV Now…yes even with today’s headlines).”
One unknown in all this is the potential for the Department of Justice to block DirecTV Now’s parent company AT&T’s merger with Time Warner. AT&T has said it planned to use Time Warner content to be one of the anchors for DirecTV Now and its DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse platforms.
The fact that DirecTV Now could have a new cloud DVR plus pay per view events would be a big step up for the service, which added 300,000 subscribers in the third quarter of 2017. It helped to offset, but not mitigate, a loss of a combined 390,000 subscribers on AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV.
AT&T says that overall, DirecTV Now has a total subscriber base of about 800,000. AT&T hopes that the new features will bring new eyeballs to its streaming service over rivals fuboTV, Hulu TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.