AT&T/DirecTV to Launch New Streaming Video Services

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att-directv.pngMultichanne News is reporting that AT&T plans to introduce three DirecTV-branded streaming video services in the fourth quarter of this year. DirecTV Now looks to be a competitor to rival Dish Network's Sling TV, offering a combination of live and on-demand content with no annual contract or set-top box needed. DirecTV Preview will be a free service with access to a limited amount of DirecTV content, while DirecTV Mobile will be targeted at mobile customers. 

From Multichannel News
Taking clearer aim at a small but growing group of cord-cutters and consumers who have never taken a traditional pay TV service, AT&T said it's developing a set of DirecTV-branded streaming services that will be delivered over-the-top and launch in the fourth quarter of 2016.

AT&T said those contract-free services, which will include two paid offerings and one ad-supported free OTT service, will be offered nationally using a bring-your-own-broadband model, meaning that customers will be able to get it from any wired or wireless broadband service provider.

Here are the services AT&T is teeing up for a Q4 debut:

DirecTV Now
Will offer a "range of content packages, including much of what is available from DirecTV today -- on-demand and live programming from many networks, plus premium add-on options." This service will be offered on wired or wireless connections and on a variety of Internet-connected devices.

DirecTV has not announced a channel lineup for DirecTV now, but "[w]e expect to be able to offer local channel coverage in the future," an AT&T official said.

DirecTV Mobile
This "mobile-first" offering will feature premium video and "made-for-digital content" on smartphone, regardless of the wireless provider. Like DirecTV Now, DirecTV Mobile customers will be able to start watching following a "simple" process of signing in and downloading the app.

AT&T hasn't unveiled a sponsored data product that could exempt some mobile traffic from data-consumption policies and caps, but top execs at the company have expressed interest in the idea. AT&T rival Verizon has introduced sponsored data service, called FreeBee Data, while T-Mobile has Binge On, a service that delivers video in 480p format and exempts some OTT services from its mobile data policies.

DirecTV Preview
In a service that might remind some of Verizon's go90 service, DirecTV Preview will be a free, ad-supported offering delivered via wired or wireless connection, while also featuring "some of the quality programming available on DirecTV today." The offering will also feature fare from AT&T's AUDIENCE Network as well as Otter Media, the OTT-focused AT&T-The Chernin Group joint venture.

AT&T said it will announce pricing on DirecTV Mobile and DirecTV Now when those services are launched, but noted that it's setting up each service to support "simultaneous sessions." Notably, some of the programming offered by Dish Network's Sling TV is limited to a single stream per subscriber.

To read the complete Multichannel News story, click here.

Additional Resources
Amazon May Add Live TV Streaming to Prime Service at HomeTheaterReview.com.
Sling TV Adds ABC in Select Markets at HomeTheaterReview.com


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