AT&T announces new over-the-top streaming service with over 100 channels for $35 a month
AT&T plans to give cord cutters the gift they've been waiting for just in time for the holiday season. The service provider plans to launch a new streaming service called DirecTV Now in the United States by the end of November.
AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson made the announcement on stage during an interview at a Wall Street Journal conference in California on Tuesday.
"This isn't the junk nobody wants, this is 100-plus premium channels purely over the top, a mobile-centric platform for $35 a month," Stephenson said.
He said the monthly cost will also include mobile streaming so that users can watch live channels over their wireless connections (presumably just AT&T customers – the company is the second largest wireless carrier in the US) without eating up all their data.
"This is a way to drive pricing down," he said.
DirecTV Now will compete aggressively with similar offerings from the likes of Sony's PlayStation Vue and Dish-owned SlingTV, which offers a basic package of about 25 channels for $20 per month and bundles of additional channels that can make the total monthly bill rise pretty quickly.
AT&T has said all the major networks and content providers are lined up to be part of DirecTV Now, including NBC/Universal, Disney/ABC, Fox, Viacom and Time Warner, which AT&T announced earlier this week that it will buy for more than $85 billion.
AT&T also purchased satellite broadcast provider DirecTV in 2015 and Stephenson said that deal was key to getting all the media companies on board for DirecTV Now.
Stephenson added that AT&T will use its purchase of Time Warner to continue to shake up the world of cable and live TV.
"Time Warner is going to become the launching pad for innovation ... It's where we're going to begin to test and experiment – how can you bring a la carte pricing into the ecosystem, how can you do that?"
The market for services like DirecTV Now is likely to only get more crowded. Hulu has also said it plans to add live channels to its streaming offering as well.