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21 Apr

14 Local Fox Stations Added To DirecTV Now Service

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14 Local Fox Stations

AT&T and Fox Networks Group have reached a new deal, and as per the deal, 14 Fox affiliated stations will be added to the DirecTV Now streaming service. With this latest deal, the number of Fox affiliates that are available on the DirecTV Now service has reached to 31. This agreement covers the Tribune Media owned stations in the markets like San Diego, Denver, and Seattle. Local stations were made available in these markets and other markets recently to join the 17 Fox owned and operated stations that were already available on the DirecTV Now service.

Fox Network has made much advancement in their negotiations with the providers of the “skinny bundles” – the TV packages that are delivered through broadband internet connections rather than the traditional cable or satellite TV systems. These bundles need the best internet connection to work efficiently. Negotiations with the providers have allowed Fox to make deals that their affiliates can opt for. With affiliate meetings scheduled for the imminent National Association of Broadcaster Show in Las Vegas, Fox is emphasizing on ensuring that their programming are available on all the latest internet based platforms. With the skinny bundles, providers also aim to improve sales of their best internet packages.

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DirecTV Now Service

Local television has been an important provider for the various skinny bundle packages that were released recently as competitor to the traditional multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD). Google had limited the launch of their YouTube TV initiative to the cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, where they have secured the rights to air the channels like local ABC, Fox, CBS, and NBC. Sling TV service from Dish Network released a new device called AirTV which will help the users to add local stations to their channel guide, making use of an over the air antenna.

“We’re excited about the power of DirecTV Now to expand the premium TV marketplace and provide greater access to our programming nationwide,” said Mike Biard, who is the president of distribution for Fox Networks Group. “Today’s addition of 14 Fox-affiliated stations, and the others that will be launching soon, together with our portfolio of national and regional cable networks, will allow DirecTV Now to deliver the full experience of our industry-leading news, entertainment and sports brands, while affording consumers the convenience and flexibility to watch whenever and wherever they want.”

Commenting on that, the chief content officer for AT&T, Dan York said, “Significantly more customers now have access to local programing on DirecTV Now through Fox affiliates in cities across America. We are continuing to expand our lineup of local, regional and national programming on DirecTV Now so our customers have access to an impressive lineup at a great value.”

21 Apr

Top Features Of DirecTV Now Packages

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DirecTV Now Packages

DirecTV Now offers a 7-day free trial on a simple registration; the latest HBO inclusion makes an entry too. Subscribers wanting to watch Lebron James pull off a slam-dunk or animals trudge along can do well with wishful thinking. There are channels available in twos and threes and that is one of the things persistent with DirecTV packages.

Going by the trend of progressive charging among cable TV alternatives, the startup subscription begins with the least number of channels and ends on a high. The “Live a Little” pack offers you 60 plus channels for a subscription fee of $35 a month, including A&E, ABC, FX, Fox, Hallmark, History Channel, and many more. Add to that a $15 extra and you jump from 60 to 80 plus channels, landing you on the “Just Right” pack.

If you wanted even more programming, subscribe to the “Go Big” pack for a fee of $60 a month and get access to 100 plus channels. Alternatively, you can go all in with the “Gotta Have It” pack that gives you 120 plus channels for just $70 per month, and have all the programming available at the DirecTV Now network.

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Lot Of Channels

DirecTV Now is an AT&T subsidiary. What subscribers get is live broadcasting of a different ilk with zero annual contracts and no extra fees, installation free, cancelation any time! Do indulge in debauchery even for there is fun to be had in all DirecTV packages.

If you wanted even more, add any of the stalwarts, HBO, CINEMAX, or STARZ, for just $5 a month, $5 a month, and $8 a month respectively. It would seem DirecTV left the cable guy on a freeway mostly because subscribers can afford to have their own companions. Imagine completing 120 channels in just 31 days or less with whoever that is, and paying only $70.

Most cable TV alternatives mix up high-octane action with bodice ripper occasionally even somber drama. After the 7-day trial, subscribers get auto renewals, with optional cancel, continuing on the DirecTV packages. With continuous television watching, the ability to recollect names of the characters is an acquired skill. Sometimes, even channel numbers become automatic remote switches, in due course and with practice.

09 Mar

DirecTV Cuts Price For MLB Extra Innings In 2017

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MLB Extra Innings

DirecTV has announced the price for the Major League Baseball Extra Innings out of the market package for 2017. The new price has dropped from the prices of 2016 level, but only by a meager 1.20 dollars. DirecTV in one of their posts shared this information to the public. MLB fans need to pay only 172.74 dollars to watch the complete 2017 season when compared to the 173.94 dollars price for 2016 season.

The price reduction might not seem to be a lot, but subscribers were able to see a big discount in the previous season when DirecTV, Comcast, and some other cheap internet and pay TV providers agreed to cut the price of MLB Extra Innings in 2016 and 2017. This decision was made as part of a settlement of a lawsuit that was filed by the MLB Extra Innings fans.

Comcast charged 165 dollars in 2016 for MLB Extra Innings, but they have not yet announced the pricing for 2017. In addition, DirecTV will also offer a free subscription to MLB.TV to all people buying Extra Innings. This means that the MLB fans can not only watch out-of-market games on television, but also on their mobile phones, computers, and connected devices.

This is the third time that DirecTV is including MLB.TV with the MLB Extra Innings offering. They have offered free subscription to MLB.TV in the last two seasons also.

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NFL Sunday Ticket

The net price for MLB Extra Innings remains flat as previous year and it is a good thing for the subscribers, as DirecTV is planning to increase the pricing for NFL Sunday Ticket package. It is reported that the pricing for the NFL Sunday Ticket will increase by over 9 percent before the 2017 season and by an additional 2 percent after the start of the season.

Subscribers not seeing a big increase in the pricing for the baseball package this year can be a good thing, but they should also understand that there is the potential for a price increase for the NFL Sunday Ticket season. For now, those baseball fans who wish to buy MLB Extra Innings package from DirecTV for 2017 will get a reduction in price, even though it is a small one.

16 Feb

Fox Sports Will Start To Broadcast 4K Contents On DirecTV

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4K On DirecTV

Fox Sports failed to offer the broadcast of Super Bowl LI in 4K Ultra HD, even though they had recorded the match in 4K with over 2 million cameras. However, Fox Sports has now shifted their focus towards the implementation of 4K sportscasts and it will begin the broadcast from February 17, on DirecTV.

The officials from Fox Sports recently announced that the broadcast would begin with the California-Stanford basketball game. Reports indicate that the 4K game broadcast will be available to viewers on channel number 106 on DirecTV packages. Note that channel 106 is actually the dedicated 4K content channel of the cable service provider.

Both DirecTV and Fox had previously announced that they are planning to offer UHD sportscasts for a number of events such as the college basketball and football games, along with many other major sports events from FIFA, the NASCAR Rally, and Major League Baseball.

The next 4K broadcast of Fox and DirecTV after the California-Stanford game will be the basketball match between UCLA and University of Washington, which will be played on March 01, 2017. Reports from several reliable sources claim that this game will also be available to the viewers in HD resolution.

DirecTV has been trying hard to continue the expansion of live 4K content since the cable service provider launched three dedicated channels for this format. DirecTV launched a 4K network on their channel number 104, which was dedicated to “nature documentaries” and the original programming from Audience Network. In addition to that, the channel 105 features short-form documentaries and 4K pay-per-view movies while the channel 106 offers the broadcast of many live events in 4K.

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The senior vice president of field and technical operations at Fox Sports, Michael Davies told that Fox is trying to introduce new technologies into their broadcast and the 4K broadcast is actually a part of this strategy. He also added that Fox offered a Wisconsin to offer a “different kind of VR experience” during the Big Ten Football Championship game between Wisconsin and Penn State.

“While live VR is important, you need to give the viewer something else to do,” Davies said. “We think that the audience will come for the live VR, but they will stay for some of the other things they can do with it.”  Reports indicate that the 4K broadcast on DirecTV will attract more customers towards it, and this would be one of the best cable deals, that a subscriber can enjoy with DirecTV packages.

14 Feb

DirecTV Will Fight US Antitrust Suit Over The LA Dodgers Channel

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DirecTV executives recently said that they have refused to pay for the Time Warner Cable Inc’s Los Angeles Dodgers channel, as they have been “burned” before, overpaying to air Lakers games, and not because they are conspiring with others to get advantage on competitors.

That is the defense DirecTV, the biggest satellite TV provider of the Unites States, will use while asking a judge to throw away a Department of Justice lawsuit, which accuses DirecTV of joining hands with competitors in 2014 to get an edge over TWC in the licensing negotiations.

As per the government, DirecTV was the leader of a conspiracy among the distributors in Los Angeles area, which left almost 70% of the pay TV users in the second largest media market of the US without access to the Dodgers games in 2014. This happened two years before Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cable. The deal made it the Los Angeles provider of Dodger games and as a result of the deal, thousands of fans of the games still do not have access to the live broadcast of the games, the Justice Department said.

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LA Dodgers Channel

Charter Communications said in a statement that they do not expect any other pay TV provider to offer SportsNet LA by opening day of baseball season. DirecTV provided a gentler explanation for why no LA pay TV distributor picked up the channel of the local Major League Baseball franchise. “TWC’s exorbitant prices and bargaining intransigence.” DirecTV had paid a premium to carry TWC’s Lakers channel only to see the NBA team’s ratings and performance tank and after that, they resolved not to commit the same mistake with the Dodgers channel.

The case is in Los Angeles federal court and it is playing out a delicate time for AT&T, as they are trying in Washington to acquire permissions to buy Time Warner. President Trump voiced opposition to the deal earlier during his campaign and after taking the President’s office, Trump is said to have told people privately that he still opposes the move.

The dueling narratives on the channel will be debated at hearing that is set for March 13, 2017. In the hearing, a judge will decide whether the lawsuit should be permitted to proceed.

07 Feb

Bars In Greater Lafayette Area Experience Game Blackouts

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NBC And FOX Network

Many local bars were not able to watch the first game of the World Series last year, as they were greeted with a black screen on their television due to the dispute between the cable service provider and channels. However, they were able to catch the actions of the remaining matches when the cable provider entered into a carriage agreement with the channels.

Many bar managers and owners believed that they would not have to face any blackouts in the future. However, DirecTV has proven these bar owners wrong, as bars in Greater Lafayette area regularly experienced game blackouts since the beginning of World Series on both NBC and FOX network affiliates.

A major portion of bars usually subscribe to DirecTV as their cable provider. This is because DirecTV is the only cable service provider that offers full National Football League package to businesses. However, the recent blackouts have disappointed them all.

The owner of Bobby T’s Pub, Robert Turner said, “If you’re a sports bar you have to have DIRECTV because they have exclusive rights to the NFL package. They have a monopoly on the ticket.” Turned added that the bars were filled with people to watch the blacked-out game.

Turner and other bar owners stated that when they reached out to DirecTV for complaining against the blackout of the games, they replied that the blackout was a result of ongoing contract negotiations between the provider and local channels. However, a recent statement made the communications representative of DirecTV, Tamara Rader, stated that the blackout of games were actually due to technical issues.

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“We are currently unable to provide the FOX signal to these customers due to technical issues. We expect to resolve those technical issues soon,” Rader said. Commenting on that, the general manger at Professor Joe’s Sports Pub & Pizzeria, Kristine Brower said that there are no patterns to which games are being blacked out and there is even no notice, which indicates that the games are being blacked out.

“It’s been totally random. The World Series game was the first time. Three weeks later there was a Sunday night football game. And this past Sunday it was the 4:30 p.m. football game. We had no heads up,” Brower said. However, reports from several reliable sources indicate that DirecTV is determined to solve the issue and to end the blackout of the games in a few weeks time.

04 Feb

DirecTV Refused To Sign A Deal With The SportsNet LA Due To The Increased Pricing

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DirecTV Channels

DirecTV recently informed a federal court that the reason why they pulled out from signing a carriage deal with Time Warner Cable for SportsNet LA channel is the pricing of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball. The cable service provider, DirecTV, along with their parent company, AT&T, informed that the Justice Department has not filed a case for either anti-competitive effects or restraint of trade in their suit against the satellite TV provider over the carriage for SportsNet LA.

SportsNet LA is managed by Charter Communications and is currently owned by the Dodgers. Charter acquired a long-term deal with the baseball team in last May. Reports indicate that TWC was charging too much for SportsNet LA and DirecTV was not ready to pay this amount.

Many analysts still have no clue on how the Trump Administration’s Justice Department will pursue this case. President Trump had earlier stated that he is planning to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner (which is a separate company). However, in a recent statement, AT&T Chairman and CEO, Randall Stephenson focused only on the impact of regulations and about creating jobs.

DirecTV remains hopeful that the court will dismiss the lawsuit “as a matter of law,” and “with prejudice.” The Justice Department charged DirecTV a few months ago for being the “ringleader” in a series of “unlawful information exchanges” with Charter Communications (before Charter acquired TWC), Cox Communications, and AT&T (before AT&T acquired DirecTV) during the negotiations of the companies for the rights to carry SportsNet LA.

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DirecTV informed the court that the filed complaint was only on the basis of generalized allegations of information sharing. DirecTV also noted that there is “no allegation of any multilateral agreement of communication on the negotiations, or anything else for that matter. No allegation that DirecTV’s negotiations were not in good faith, no allegation of improper communications with Dish or Verizon, who still don’t carry the channel, and no allegation that any of the distributors who allegedly would have carried the channel save for the communications had market power over TWC.”

“There is nothing in the complaint that contradicts the obvious alternative explanation that DirecTV and other distributors independently analyzed the value of the Dodgers Channel to their subscribers, tried to negotiate reasonable terms with TWC in good faith, and reached the same fundamental conclusion that TWC’s price demands were too high,” DirecTV officials added.

30 Jan

DirecTV Cinema Offering New Releases

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The Magnificent Seven

The Video on Demand service, DirecTV Cinema, is now offering new releases to subscribers. These films are some of the best released ones in the previous year and were extremely popular among the audiences worldwide. DirecTV Cinema’s offering is a great opportunity to revisit these well-made movies. Listed below are the newly released movies that are streaming now on DirecTV Cinema.

The Magnificent Seven

Based on a screenplay contribution by the legendary Akira Kurosawa himself, The Magnificent Seven is a tale of the old west. The renewed interest in the western genre has made it a critical and commercial success worldwide. The story set in the old west tells the tale of seven outlaws hired to protect a village from savage thieves.

Apart from the resurrection of classic western culture, this movie is also reportedly filmed on 35mm film rather than digital media, in order to reconstruct the genre’s iconic look.

The Girl On The Train

This psychological thriller became an immense success critically while also scoring modestly at the box office. Based on a novel of the same name by author Paula Hawkins, the movie features an outstanding performance from Emily Blunt as a divorcee becoming involved in a man missing investigation. It is a well-made film with exceptional performances from the other cast as well.

Sully

Based on the real story of American pilot Chesley Sullenberger, Sully captivated the hearts of audiences all around the world. Veteran Clint Eastwood brings a stark depiction of terror inside the crashing plane along with an outstanding performance from Tom Hanks. It was surely one of the best movies released in 2016 and earned a reputable critical and box office success.

Suicide Squad

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Suicide Squad

One of the most popular movies of the year, Suicide Squad released to an immense box office success. It was yet another brilliant package by DC Comics with an array of popular Hollywood actors in its cast lineup. The plot follows prime time super villains being recruited by the government to accomplish the task of destroying a supernatural entity.

With an impressive dazzle of visual effects and compelling performances, Suicide Squad was a true entertainment package, and it paved way for many more DC Comics movies to hit the big screen.

Finding Dory

Released as a sequel to the celebrated movie Finding Nemo, this 3D animated movie was a huge success both critically and commercially. Finding Dory is the story of the blue tang fish searching for her lost parents and the adventures encountered along the way.

24 Jan

AT&T Claims 200,000 Plus DirecTV Now Sign Ups In Q4

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DirecTV Now Subscribers

AT&T recently said that they have added more than 200,000 new video subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2016, and that all the sign ups were driven by their new DirecTV Now service, which is their internet-delivered pay TV service. In a filing with the SEC, the Telco said that the gain in the video subscribers includes only the paying subscribers.

“While it’s early days, our recent conversations with investors have focused heavily on whether [virtual pay-TV service providers] will be incremental vs cannibalistic, and we’ve been arguing incremental,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Cahall said. “This potentially sets up Q4 results for interesting subscriber commentary.”

DirecTV Now service was launched by AT&T on Nov 30, and the service has been plagued with many technical issues and glitches since then. One of the service outages lasted for many hours last week and this outage angered many of the customers of the very young over the top offering from AT&T. Many subscribers demanded for refunds owing to the service interruptions, but AT&T refused to offer any refunds to the users who are unhappy with the DirecTV Now service.

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Earlier, AT&T executives had promised to shakeup the pay TV industry with the introduction of the DirecTV Now service that is priced competitively. DirecTV Now service starts at thirty-five dollars a month for sixty-four channels offering to a package offering of up to 130 channels for just seventy dollars per month. Local channels on the DirecTV Now service are available in select markets from NBC, ABC, Telemundo, and Fox. AT&T does not have a deal with CBS for their DirecTV Now service though.

AT&T said that the rates of their DirecTV Now service will increase in time, but promised that the early adopters will have the promotional pricing for as long as they use the service. AT&T also offered Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV devices to those users who committed to a three months or one-month plan deal respectively.

In addition to that, AT&T said that they have added more than 900,000-branded net domestic wireless in Q4. Yet reports say that around 700,000 2G users deactivated their accounts in the quarter. “We have discontinued service on virtually all of our 2G cell sites,” the Telco said. AT&T is scheduled to report their Q4 earnings on Jan 25.

23 Jan

AT&T Is Determined To Offer A Great Viewing Experience At Hotels

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Great Viewing Experience

The telecom giant AT&T is determined to transform the in-room entertainment for lodging guests and hotels through the DRE (DIRECTV Residential Experience) with DIRECTV CINEMA. Reports from several reliable sources indicate that AT&T will offer features such as interactive program guide, hottest new Pay Per View releases, premium content and select DVR features to customers in addition to the existing DRE features.

This means that guests will be able to access the entire content library of popular networks such as SHOWTIME and HBO. In addition to that, the telecom industry also stated that they are planning to add the contents from Encore, Starz, Cinemax, and other major networks in the near future.

However, guests will not have to login, authenticate, or subscribe to an account in order to enjoy this exciting offering from AT&T. Guests will be able to watch whatever they want, whenever they want. That too, on the best screen available to them (on the hotel room HDTV).

The vice president of commercial DIRECTV sales for AT&T, Doug Eichler recently said, “We are excited to put control of the latest and greatest content and technology in the hands of hotels and their guests. Properties with DRE have an advantage because they can offer their guests some of the comforts of home.”

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DIRECTV CINEMA with On Demand offers an incredible viewing experience to guests. The provider does this by using an on-premises video storage and caching server. Guests will be able to enjoy numerous other benefits through this server such as significantly reduced cost of long-term high-speed internet access and minimize guest Wi-Fi usage through video streaming.

In addition to that, AT&T will also offer On Demand Equipment and DIRECTV CINEMA to the hotels, who have currently subscribed to the DRE for zero additional charges. AT&T also noted that the properties, who subscribe to the DRE, would be able to offer guests customized TV messaging, express checkout, and a complete folio review.

AT&T’s DRE is currently available in more than 4,500 hotel locations in the country and it includes some of the properties managed by Starwood, Hyatt, Best Western, and others. Reports indicate that AT&T is also planning to expand the DRE to several other locations in the United States in the upcoming months.

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