It’s been a pretty good week for AT&T.
Over the weekend, the company announced its proposed $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, adding a portfolio of media offerings to its portfolio, like HBO, TNT and Cartoon Network.
Tuesday morning, AT&T announced DirecTV Now, which will stream more than 100 live channels for $35 per month beginning in November.
Now what are you paying for cable/satellite right now? It’s probably more than $35, right?
DirecTV now will be available on all of your mobile devices and if you are an AT&T customer, the data used with the service won’t count against you. The channel lineup wasn’t announced but you can expect all the Time Warner stuff plus NBC/Universal, Fox, Disney and other familiar channels.
And this immediately becomes the best deal in streaming. PlayStation Vue has 100 channels for $54.99 and Sling TV will give you more than 25 channels for $20 (but some associated, um, difficulty with watching them sometimes). Two other competitors, Hulu and YouTube, are also planning streaming services, but have yet to announce pricing.
DirecT’s current streaming service is very good and now its get HBO’s even better streaming service — and streaming know-how — on top of that. Company president Randall Stephenson said AT&T was able to keep the price low because it doesn’t have to negotiate content deals with Time Warner properties and it doesn’t have to worry about hardware costs, like satellites, with the deal.
Even more interesting? Stephenson said AT&T expects this to be the way the majority of its customers get TV within four years, forgoing DirecTV satellite service or traditional cable. And he said AT&T’s upcoming 5G cellular network could one day eliminate the need for cable.
The guess here is that DirecTV Now will hit Google’s Chomecast, Amazon’s FireStick and Apple TV as an app. And let’s say it does and you have Netflix plus this service and you can now kill HBO streaming. You can get a lot of what you need for less than $50.
TV, folks, is about to get a whole lot more interesting.