AT&T today officially unveiled its DirecTV Now live TV streaming service at an event held in New York City. The service, which is launching on November 30, was first announced
earlier this year.
Many of the details about the new service were reported already, including a starting price point of $35 per month, and a lineup of more than 100 channels, with the option to add on premium networks like HBO and Starz.
“It’s relaly important to understand, this is the foundation for how we’re going to do things in the future,” said AT&T Entertainment CEO John Stankey. “For the first time in our history, we have control of our full stack.”
DirecTV Now is entering an increasingly crowded market for streaming services, where it will directly compete with rivals like Dish’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Hulu’s upcoming live TV service. (We should note that AT&T competitor Verizon owns TechCrunch.)
In order to lure customers, these competitors are focusing on various selling points, like tiered pricing, simultaneous streams, user experience, cross-platform support, channel lineups, and other consumer-friendly features, like a cloud DVR for recording streamed TV shows and movies. In fact, Sling TV just announced its own cloud DVR earlier this morning.
AT&T aims to initially entice new subscribers by offering free streaming players to those who commit to paid plans. Those who sign up for three months will get a free Apple TV, while those who pay for one month will receive a free Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Like its rivals, DirecTV Now is also competing on price point, by coming in lower than traditional pay TV services from cable and satellite providers at $35 per month for more than 60 channels, with pricing plans going up to $70 a month for $120-plus channels. Customers can pay an extra $5 per month each to add HBO and Cinemax.
The service it will bring over-the-top access to most major broadcast networks except for CBS, and popular cable networks, minus Showtime. Its channel lineup will include top networks thanks to deals with 21st Century Fox for Fox’s cable networks; Walt Disney; newly-acquired Time Warner, and others.
Through the Time Warner merger, AT&T gained access to HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, and the Warner Bros. film studio, home to the Harry Potter and DC Comics franchises. And through Turner, it has rights to the NBA, March Madness and MLB.
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