AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson today confirmed that the company is planning to launch an online streaming video service, called DirecTV Now, sometime in the fourth quarter of 2016 (via CNET). Featuring "very, very aggressive price points," the service is said to include more than 100 premium channels and will come in app form on smartphones, tablets, and set-top boxes, although the specifics of the launch were kept to a minimum.

Stephenson remarked on the company's ability to introduce the service at a low price point, due to the fact that DirecTV Now won't require customer visits and installation, and "all of the ordering, customer service and billing is done digitally, reducing the need for more traditional tech support." The streaming service will also provide the option between one and two streams per household, with customers able to increase simultaneous streaming by paying a little more each month.

directv-now

Cord cutters have seen an explosion of options when it comes to streaming video, including services like Hulu, Netflix and HBO Go. But cobbling these services together is costly and complicated, which is why many consumers still stick with the easier package deal of a cable subscription.

AT&T believes it can offer something more attractive. The company plans to initially go after the 20 million households with no pay TV subscription, Stephenson said. When asked if DirecTV Now could threaten its traditional DirecTV business, Stephenson acknowledged some risk. But "that's a good sign," he said.

"If you don't see them threatening your legacy products, 99 percent of the time they don't go anywhere," he said. "It means you found something the market really wants."

Users will also be able to bundle DirecTV Now into the company's broadband and mobile services, and all of the various aspects of AT&T's offerings will work in the same ecosystem, so customers who stream DirecTV Now on their smartphone won't get hit with data overcharges.

AT&T has struck deals with Disney and HBO for its new streaming platform, but Stephenson noted that a few "holdouts" still remain, preventing DirecTV Now from a more immediate launch. Still, the CEO said the content deals process is around 90 percent done. By the time customers begin signing up for the service after its late-2016 launch, Stephenson thinks that "in 2017, this will be a big driver of video for us."

The amount of video streaming apps and services has been growing steadily over the past few years, and new companies consistently announce their presence in the space. This year, Hulu confirmed an upcoming live cable TV service, and premium channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz each have their own content specific, monthly subscription services that range between $9 and $15. Apple was even attempting to get a similar $30-$40 web-based TV package launched last year, but failed deals with networks caused the company to put its plans on hold.

Tags: AT&T, DirecTV

Top Rated Comments

Lord Hamsa Avatar
79 months ago
They're co-opting the whole idea behind cord-cutting by making it all about the content delivery system.

The real point of cord cutting is the ability to pick and choose the content one wants available in their own house (or on the go on their mobile devices). Selling the traditional cable "package" in a different form isn't really addressing the real desires of cord-cutters.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ssspinball Avatar
79 months ago
Cord cutter checking in! :)

1. I'm not interested in channels, I'm interested in shows. Frankly I don't care at all what channel a show is on and any discussion of "channels" is missing the point entirely.
2. I'm not interested in network scheduling. I watch the next episode for a show when I am ready for it and not a minute different.
3. I'm not interested in paying for something that contains commercials. It's an either/or proposition. I don't expect ads in ANY product I pay for.

All of the above concerns are already addressed today by Netflix, etc. If AT&T can't at least match the existing competition then I'm not interested.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2010mini Avatar
79 months ago
Yeah ill stick to KODI. Free sports and all the movies and tv shows i want to watch commercial free.
You consider stealing content to be free?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
driceman Avatar
79 months ago
Hopefully with better pricing, content, and UI than Sling.tv. Cancelled that after about 5 minutes.
I'd looked at Sling but haven't tried it yet. What was your experience with it?

If DirecTV gets me a bunch of good channels for an EXTREMELY reasonable price that doesn't require a cable package, doesn't require installation, and is 100% transparent about its pricing, I'd be happy to take a look. Forgive me for being skeptical, but AT&T/DirecTV don't really have a history of doing any of those things. I'll believe it when I see it.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tasset Avatar
79 months ago
My wife and I were just talking about ditching DirecTV yesterday because the fee ($90/month) is crazy considering we usually watch the same 10 or 15 channels in any given month. I would pay $20/month for the 10 or 15 channels that we care about vs. $90/month for those same 10 or 15 channels plus 140 more that we couldn't care less about.
That's part of the problem, the misconception that all channels are created equal. From the content providers' view they are not, which is why you have CBS trying to get away with charging $10 a month for their one channel alone. Chances are the 10-15 channels you care about are higher value (ESPN, Disney, CBS) and you will never be offered a slim package that ala carte gives you the same for less cost.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2010mini Avatar
79 months ago
They're co-opting the whole idea behind cord-cutting by making it all about the content delivery system.

The real point of cord cutting is the ability to pick and choose the content one wants available in their own house (or on the go on their mobile devices). Selling the traditional cable "package" in a different form isn't really addressing the real desires of cord-cutters.
Yes, I didn't pay for it therefor its free to me
No. it is theft. And the only reason you feel otherwise is your perception that somehow you are entitled to it. Even if you don't admit it, you and those that liked your post think somehow tv/movies should be given to you wherever and whenever you please.

And because you sit in your home and enjoy anonymity. You are not like other criminals that do it face to face.

You are the same.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky Removed From iOS App Store Ahead of Upcoming Shutdown

Wednesday September 28, 2022 4:27 pm PDT by
The Dark Sky weather app that's owned by Apple is no longer available for download in the U.S. App Store, suggesting that it has been removed ahead of schedule. Apple acquired Dark Sky back in March 2020 and has since incorporated elements of the app into the Weather app available on the iPhone (and soon, the iPad). Dark Sky remained available for purchase as a standalone weather app...
adaptive transparency airpods pro

iOS 16.1 Beta Brings Adaptive Transparency to Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 29, 2022 1:08 pm PDT by
The third beta of iOS 16.1 that was released earlier this week expands the Adaptive Transparency feature introduced with the second-generation AirPods Pro to the original AirPods Pro. As noted on Reddit, first-generation AirPods Pro owners who also have the AirPods beta software will now see an "Adaptive Transparency" toggle in the AirPods section of the Settings app. The 5A304A beta...
tim cook malala

Tim Cook: Not Too Long From Now, You'll Wonder How You Led Your Life Without AR

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:26 am PDT by
Speaking at Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that not too long from today, people will wonder how they led a life without augmented reality, stressing the "profound" impact it will have on the not so distant future. At the university, Cook was awarded an Honorary Degree in Innovation and International Management and also sat down for a...
iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB C in 2023 feature sans arrow

Kuo: iPhone 14 Pro Max Popularity Could Lead to More Differentiation Between iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Wednesday September 28, 2022 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has seen high demand for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, which could lead the company to further differentiate the next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple could add exclusive features to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in an effort to encourage more people to purchase the larger and more expensive device. Kuo last week said that Apple asked...
iOS 16 Wallpaper Spectrum Feature

Five Wallpaper Apps to Check Out for iOS 16's New Lock Screen Depth Effect

Thursday September 29, 2022 9:08 am PDT by
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is a completely redesigned iPhone Lock Screen. The new Lock Screen is entirely customizable, letting you change the colors and fonts, add widgets and new wallpapers, and more to make your iPhone uniquely yours. Of course, even before iOS 16, you could customize your Lock Screen with a wallpaper of your choice. iOS 16 takes the Lock Screen wallpaper...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...
mx mechanical keyboard logitech

Logitech Launches New 'Designed for Mac' Mice and Keyboards

Wednesday September 28, 2022 12:01 am PDT by
Logitech today announced the launch of several new mice and keyboards that have been developed for use with Apple's Macs, including Logitech's first mechanical keyboard that has been optimized for the Mac. The MX Mechanical Mini for Mac Keyboard has a keyboard layout designed for Macs, with tools to customize shortcuts with Logi Options+. The keyboard uses Tactile Quiet low-profile switches...
iphone 14 iphone 14 plus in hand feature

iPhone 14 Is Secretly Hiding a Beloved Mac Feature

Friday September 30, 2022 3:24 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models bring over a longstanding Mac feature, but the setting to enable it is off by default. The feature, which is actually a new accessibility option, allows the iPhone to play a startup chime like the Mac. When enabled, the sound comes alongside a new shutdown chime. The Mac has featured a startup chime since 1987's Macintosh II, and the iconic "bong"...