AT&T Gives a Price to DirecTV Now: $35/Month for 100 Channels
AT&T gave a few more details on its upcoming streaming skinny bundle, DirecTV Now. Speaking yesterday at the WSJDLive Conference, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the service will cost $35 per month and launch by the end of November.
DirecTV Now was announced in March 2016, and positioned as a SlingTV challenger. While insiders speculated that it would cost $100 per month and wouldn't undercut DirecTV's satellite business, yesterday's announcement shows a willingness to compete on price.
Stephenson made the announcement while defending AT&T's proposed Time Warner acquisition, making the point that a consolidated content and distribution mega-corporation won't lead to higher prices.
"This is a way to drive pricing down in the marketplace," Ars Technica quoted Stephenson as saying.
The DirecTV Now bundle will include Time Warner content, Stephenson said, such as TBS and TNT, as well as channels owned by other companies. The 100 channels will be premium, he promised, with no "junk nobody wants." The service will experiment with a la carte pricing, he added. While SlingTV offers add-on bundles, it doesn't offer a la carte channel selection.
In this contentious political season, antagonism to the AT&T/Time Warner deal is one of the few thigs the parties agree on. Those on the left (such as Senator Al Franken) and the right (such as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump) oppose it.
AT&T is a piñata, and tech journalists are lining up to have a swing. Subscribers are seeing red over buffering, outages, and the lack of refunds.
The introductory price is nice, but that's all there is to love about AT&T's DirecTV Now service which is full of commercials and lacks a DVR.
Customers will be able to stream over 100 channels for $35 per month, but AT&T hasn't announced what those channels are. CBS won't be bundled at launch.
The satellite television company announced three streaming options with no monthly contracts, but skimped on many of the details.
The Hopper 3 can record 16 channels at one time and power 6 Joey units. It can also play 4K video and transfer recordings to the new HopperGo portable.
Once a hidden option, online-only plans are now easier to get, but only for those who can't subscribe to standard DirecTV service.