AT&T has announced its plans to launch an affordable online video streaming service called DirecTV Now, which it will unveil later this year. What sets it apart, according to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is its “very, very aggressive price points,” along with the fact that it supports more than 100 channels and an application that is compatible with mobile devices, televisions, and tablets.
The fact that the service can be installed via a mobile application rather than with a traditional cable installer helps significantly reduce costs, which in turn trickles down to consumers.
DirecTV Now is poised to usurp AT&T U-verse and the DirecTV satellite service, which is fine by Stephenson’s standards. Stephenson, in response to query as to whether the new virtual-MVPD service would siphon business away from its traditional DirecTV service, noted that that would be a positive development. “But that’s a good sign,” he said. “It means you have found something the market really wants.”
The service has its sights set on the 20 million American households that currently do not subscribe to a pay-TV service and more. “This is exclusively an over-the-top product,” Stephenson said. “This is no set-top box; this is no truck roll; this is a customer pulling down an app, getting a very robust platform.”
AT&T has been signing a bevy of content deals in order to bolster its streaming video offerings. The company announced agreements with Turner Networks, Scripps Networks Interactive, NBC Universal, Disney, Discovery Networks, A+E, and HBO. The wireless service provider has yet to ink deals with CBS, 21st Century Fox, Viacom, as well as AMC, the completion of which would significantly strengthen AT&T’s argument that DirecTV Now will prove to be an adequate pay-TV replacement for cord-cutters.