The live streaming service, DirecTV Now, will be having channels of the NBCUniversal, as AT&T has recently signed a long-term contract with NBCU. Even though the terms of the agreement were not announced, the broadcast network NBC and the channels including USA and Bravo will remain in DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse, and TV Everywhere extensions of those two platforms. The amount of 4K content available will also be expanded.
DirecTV announced that NBC’s Saturday telecast of Notre Dame Football would be presented in 4K/UltraHD. As per reports, when DirecTV Now launches, NBCU Networks will be added to their portfolio.
Chairman of NBCUniversal Content Distribution, Matt Bond said that, “AT&T is an important distributor and we are pleased they recognize the value of NBCUniversal’s leading portfolio of networks and will continue offering our unmatched lineup of entertainment, sports, news and Hispanic content. We are committed to growing our audiences, and we welcome the opportunity to offer our networks on DirecTV Now.”
Chief content officer for AT&T, Dan York said, “We’re pleased to extend our relationship with NBCU with this milestone agreement, which delivers their content across all of our platforms and products. The NBCU family of networks will be available to AT&T customers for years to come and will also enhance our DirecTV Now streaming services and provide more great 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) sports content.”
DirecTV Now will allow their subscribers to watch their programs without a set top box or dish for the first time in its history. Besides that, AT&T has made similar deals with Discovery, HBO, and Disney (Disney channels, ESPN, and ABC). However, some notable omissions in the deal are CBS and Fox.
CBS is currently promoting its own streaming services called the CBS All Access, and thus, may not be joining AT&T to improve the streaming service of DirecTV. CBS also has a carriage deal with the Sling TV of Dish Network. Yet at the same time, Fox may come in agreement with DirecTV, as they have no plans to start their own streaming services so far.
Carriage fees of the regional sports network will be high, since the RSNs have paid a huge amount for the rights to air the college and pro games. Hence, AT&T and DirecTV might not invest that much at the time of the launch of their streaming service.