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AT&T Launching Consumer-Direct Video Services Nov. 30

28 Nov, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

DirecTV Now channel slates not disclosed

As expected, AT&T announced it would formally bow — beginning Nov. 30 — separate standalone over-the-top video services aimed at a market segment (20-plus million households) that eschews traditional pay-TV.

The services include online TV brand DirecTV Now, mobile subscription-streaming platform Fullscreen, and ad-supported FreeView.

DirecTV Now piggybacks on AT&T’s recent DirecTV acquisition while branding a separate service that doesn’t require a set-top-box, satellite dish, annual contract or credit check.

The service will offer four packages, including 60 pay-TV channels (“Live a Little”) for $35; 80 channels (“Just Right”) for $50; 100 channels (“Go Big” for $60); or more than 120 channels (“Gotta Have It”) for $70. HBO and Cinemax are available separately for an additional $5 monthly.

For a limited time, AT&T is offering “Go Big” for $35 — about 40% below SRP. The promotion is subject to “reasonable” price increases going forward.

“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,” John Stankey, CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, said in a statement.

The price points are more expensive than Dish Network’s Sling TV and Charter’s Spectrum TV Plus (from $20 and offering fewer channels). DirecTV Now is similar to Sony PlayStation Vue, which is priced from $29.99 for 45 channels.

Notably, DirecTV Now won’t be available (until 2017) on Roku streaming media players and branded smart TVs, as well as Samsung Internet-enabled TVs and Amazon Fire tablets. The OTT service will be accessible via Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Android mobile devices, Google Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari browsers.

Meanwhile, Fullscreen (www.fullscreen.com) offers 1,500 hours of scripted and unscripted original series, TV shows and films licensed from studio partners via iPhone, iPad, select Android Phones, Chromecast and Apple TV.

FreeView (not to be confused with a separate British online TV service) will stream curated, on-demand content from Audience Network, Otter Media and other channels on DirecTV Now.

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