DirecTV subscribers were sitting on pins and needles wondering when AT&T will release their DirecTV Now internet-only streaming service. And it seems that they won’t have to wait for too long.
As part of a discussion of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed that the DirecTV Now service would be launched by November. He also confirmed that the service would carry a price that is “radically lower” than the competing offers.
While speaking about the proposed 85 billion dollar buyout of Time Warner, Stephenson said that DirecTV Now service would pose big threat to the rivals. He did not go further into the details of the pricing, but said that the service is a nationwide “mobile-centric product,” with “100 premium channels.” He also added that DirecTV Now would be “purely mobility-driven [and] purely over-the-top, this is a whole new capability.”
AT&T bought DirecTV for 48.5 billion dollars last year, thereby adding satellite TV to their wireless and broadband services. “As soon as we closed DirecTV, we went full out on developing this [DirecTV Now idea],” the company CEO said.
The Telco giant has also taken the next step by bringing Time Warner on board, and Stephenson believes that DirecTV Now service will be much improved with the inclusion of TV and movie content from Time Warner. “This is what we’re after, speed of execution and changing the game.”
He also laid some of the possibilities. “What can you do with Time Warner content, really fast and very uniquely for our customers? Can we integrate social into that content? Can you have the capability to, I’m watching content, clip it and send it via social media to my friends?”
The Time Warner deal is a natural evolution of the industry, Stephenson said. “The world of distribution and content is converging and we need to move fast and if we want to do something truly unique, begin to curate content differently, begin to format content differently for these mobile environments, and this is all about mobility.”
Stephenson stressed that a new AT&T-Time Warner company will not be holding content hostage from the other distributors. “The idea that we’re going to come along and start to constrict the distribution of this content makes no economic sense. That would be a crazy idea. So the idea that is going to be a byproduct of this [deal], it doesn’t make sense.”