AT&T will soon launch several new ways for subscribers to consume live and premium video content. Starting November 30, the telecommunications and cable provider will make available DirecTV Now, Freeview, and Fullscreen, options it hopes will help users get the video they want, when they want it.
“We’re extending our entertainment portfolio for those who value premium content but also want more TV freedom suited for their lifestyle, whether watching at home or on their mobile devices,” said AT&T Entertainment Group chief executive John Stankey in a statement.
The big news here, though, is the launch of DirecTV Now, which will compete with traditional and even newer cable providers, such as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu, YouTube, and many others. Subscribers will be able to stream live sports, premium channels, popular shows, and movies onto their phone, tablet, or TV. To make it more appealing, AT&T is offering several custom packages, which differ in terms of the number of channels you receive. The deals start at $35 per month for 60 channels and go up to $70 per month for 120 channels.
For a limited time, DirecTV’s Go Big package is available for $35 per month (the normal price is $60 per month).
Subscribers can also watch up to two streams simultaneously.
Sadly, HBO and Cinemax are not included in any of these packages, but you can add them to your subscription for just $5 each per month.
It’s reported that AT&T has signed programming agreements with most major networks, except for CBS and Showtime.
With DirecTV Now, the company is pushing back against Comcast’s efforts. The two large cable giants now have apps that allow cord cutters to stream TV and video from any device. But AT&T’s offering seems to give customers more flexibility, allowing them to specify how many channels they want — although whether it will let them pick and choose which ones they prefer remains to be seen.
Of course, streaming is only permitted over a U.S. internet connection.
DirecTV Now will be available on many popular devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Chromecast for Android (iOS support will be added next year), Google Cast-enabled LeEco Ecotvs, VIZIO SmartCast Displays, and Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari web browsers, as well as Android mobile devices and tablets. In 2017, AT&T said that Roku streaming players, Roku TV models, Amazon Fire tablets, and smart TVs from Samsung and other leading brands will be supported.
This is the latest effort in AT&T’s push to offer more over-the-top services aimed at millennials, cord cutters, and those who wholeheartedly prefer internet services over traditional cable services. And the telecommunication company certainly has a lot of content to share, especially following its acquisition of DirecTV in 2014 and of Time Warner in October. In May, it also acquired the video platform Quickplay, which likely played a part in the launch of today’s new streaming service.
For its mobile customers, the company is launching an option that lets them watch Fullscreen content right on their smartphone or tablet at no extra charge, in terms of fees or their data usage. This means that subscribers can watch more than 1,500 ad-free premium scripted and unscripted original series, TV shows, and films from the multi-channel network it has a stake in.
Lastly, AT&T is offering Freeview, a new experience that provides on-demand content from its Audience Network, Otter Media properties, and channels from DirecTV Now in a curated and ad-supported way.