AT&T has announced the charges for their highly anticipated DirecTV Now streaming service, and the announcement has surprised the analysts who had predicted the cost of the service. As per the announcement, AT&T will offer “one hundred plus” TV channels to the users for just 35 dollars monthly fees.
AT&T recently announced their 85 billion dollars merger with Time Warner and CEO Randall Stephenson has made news by releasing the details of DirecTV Now, the new internet TV product. The announcement was made on an event hosted by The Wall Street Journal and it was streamed live on Facebook.
Stephenson said that DirecTV Now would be a part of the TV business of AT&T that ranges from mobile centric options to television with set top boxes and satellites. “How do you begin to do something to access that segment of the market?” he said. “They’ve cut the cord. They’re not even engaged in the premium [TV] ecosystem anymore.”
However, Stephenson did not say much about the channels that are included in DirecTV Now, but hinted that all the channels will be the popular ones. “This isn’t the junk nobody wants,” he said. AT&T CEO stressed that the service will be mobile centric and will match the expectations of people who are changing their TV watching habits.
Stephenson did not say anything on the additional benefits, if any, for the AT&T customers. Yet, the cost of the service is much less than what many analysts predicted, as most of them expected the service to cost as much as fifty dollars per month. Analysts from Barclays even estimated that the cost of DirecTV Now would be between fifty and sixty dollars a month.
In one of their previous announcements, AT&T said that DirecTV would be offering three new ways to stream content – one with live and on-demand from the DirecTV networks, another for users who mainly watch TV on their smart devices, and the third one offering a limited number of free programs. Stephenson has not said anything on the status of the other two options, but said that he is determined to go head to head with the business.
He also pointed to the thirty-five dollars per month DirecTV business as an example of tidy merger that could cut down costs, rather than increasing it. He also dismissed the criticisms saying, “They’re uninformed comments. Anybody who characterizes this as a means to raise prices is ignoring the basic premise of what we’re trying to do here.”