Telecommunications giant AT&T has taken the wraps of a new video streaming service designed to deliver ‘TV your way’ (in the words of CEO John Stankey), featuring dozens of channels across both TV and mobile devices.
Called DIRECTV Now, the new service is targeted at the more than 20 million US households that don’t have cable or satellite TV. It introduces four package options:
Live A Little – $35 a month for 60+ channels
Just Right – $50 a month for 80+ channels
Go Big – $60 a months for 100+ channels
Gotta Have It – $70 a months for 120+ channels.
Full details of the channels available with each package have yet to be announced, but AT&T does state that they’ve been ‘seeded’ from the DIRECTV satellite services.
AT&T has also confirmed that you can add HBO and Cinemax to any of the four packages for a (not unreasonable) extra $5 each a month.
Stream without using up your data
Arguably the most striking feature of the new DIRECTV Now offering from a cost point of view, though, is the revelation that streams of DIRECTV Now and AT&T’s previously launched Fullscreen streaming service will not count against any data caps mobile users may have in place.
DIRECTV Now will be available from its November 30 launch date on the following devices: Amazon Fire TV/Fire TV Stick; Android mobile devices and tablets; iPhone, iPad and Apple TV; Chromecast (Android at launch; iOS in 2017); Google Cast-enabled LeEco ecotvs and Vizio SmartCast displays; Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari web browsers.
The Amazon Fire TV will support DIRECTV Now from the service’s launch on November 30. (Pic: Amazon)
Other devices are set to be added in 2017, with AT&T already listing Roku streaming players, Roku TV models, Amazon Fire tablets, and Smart TVs from Samsung and ‘other leading brands’.
AT&T is allowing consumers to try any of the four DIRECTV Now packages for seven days free of charge when they sign up through the service’s new website, and is also offering the Go Big package of more than 100 channels at a reduced rate of $35 ‘for a limited time’.
My suspicion is that this ‘limited time’ really won’t last long, but at least AT&T is stating that “customers who sign up for this offer will continue to enjoy this special price for as long as they keep the package, subject only to future reasonable programming price increases applicable to all packages.”
AT&T also revealed different DIRECTV Now offers for specific devices. For instance, you can get an Apple TV included with three months pre-paid of any DIRECTV Now package. Or you can get an Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote included with one-month pre-paid DIRECTV Now. LeEco, meanwhile, is offering various lengths of DIRECTV Now service with the purchase of some of its mobile phones and TVs.
Follow me on Twitter @bigjohnnyarcher, Facebook or read my other Forbes articles via my profile page.