AT&T offers DirectTV streaming service to its cellular customers

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AT&T is offering an attractive new service to its cellular customers, the ability to watch TV over their devices for much less cost than subscribing to cable. But it’s not without controversy. Some are criticizing AT&T and the FCC, because this is thought to violate the net neutrality laws that  prohibit cellular carriers from providing special treatment of their own content, and AT&T owns Direct TV. As a result it would be difficult for the other cellular network to compete, thus offering special treatment of some content over another.

The FCC’s decision to not ban certain free offerings over the cellular networks has resulted in free streaming services from companies such as T-Mobile and this latest service from AT&T.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. AT&T is doing what they think is best for their business and their customers after acquiring DirectTV. And certainly customers deserve another way to watch TV and break free of the huge monthly cable charges that require you to take more channels than you want or need.

But the concern is this will begin to erode the Internet so that all content is not treated equally.

 

This is AT&T’s announcement:

AT&T this week is launching its new “DirecTV Now” streaming video service. According to the full AT&T announcement, the service offers various packages of streamed TV content ranging from $35 to $70 per month. Thanks to AT&T’s looming $100 billion acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T’s even throwing in HBO for an additional $5 per month, the lowest price point in the industry. Though a bit hamstrung to upsell you to traditional DirecTV (two stream limit, no 4K content, no NFL Sunday Ticket, no DVR functionality), all told it’s a fairly compelling package for cord cutters.

The Revolution is Here: AT&T Offers 3 Ways to Stream Premium Video Content

DIRECTV NOW, FreeVIEW and Fullscreen Available Nov. 30

NEW YORK, Nov. 28, 2016—The future of TV is NOW. On Nov. 30, AT&T1 begins offering 3 video streaming services – DIRECTV NOW, FreeVIEW and Fullscreen. It’s your favorite TV networks and made-for-digital video content delivered with more choice and flexibility than ever.

This is rules-free TV for anyone in the U.S. who wants to stream shows and movies anytime, anywhere. For the more than 20 million U.S. households who have dropped cable or are flirting with cutting the cord, we’re now delivering video over a technology platform that will have multiple product capabilities, the first of which we’re unveiling today.

“We’re extending our entertainment portfolio for those who value premium content but also want more TV freedom suited for their lifestyle, whether watching at home or on their mobile devices. This is TV your way,” said John Stankey, CEO, AT&T Entertainment Group.

“Our new customer-centric offers show that mobility and entertainment are better together,” added Stankey.

Sign up online for DIRECTV NOW or Fullscreen. Within minutes, you have the power to stream content over a U.S. internet connection on a variety of devices. No set-top-boxes, satellite dishes, annual contracts or credit checks required.

And, if you’re an AT&T Mobility customer, DIRECTV will pick up the tab for data to help you achieve all your binge-worthy goals. Data Free TV means you won’t use your AT&T mobile data for watching DIRECTV NOW or FreeVIEW in the App. Fullscreen will also cover your data for streaming in the Fullscreen App on the AT&T mobile network.2

DIRECTV NOW

Starting Nov. 30, stream your favorite live sports, on demand, premium channels, popular shows, and hit movies right to your tablet, smartphone or TV. It’s the experience you love, without the limits you don’t.

Experience any of our packages free for 7 days when you sign up at www.directvnow.com and download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. To celebrate our historic launch of DIRECTV NOW, we’re making streams come true by offering our “Go Big” package with more than 100 channels for just $35 per month. This is a limited time offer. Customers who sign up for this offer will continue to enjoy this special price for as long as you keep the package, subject only to future reasonable programming price increases applicable to all packages.

DIRECTV NOW programming packages are seeded from our existing satellite TV service, putting popular channels together for a great entertainment value:

  • Live a Little– $35 / month (60+ channels)
  • Just Right– $50 / month (80+ channels)
  • Go Big– $60 / month (100+ channels)
  • Gotta Have it– $70 / month (120+ channels)

Fans of HBO® and Cinemax® can add these channels for just $5 each per month in addition to your base programming package.

DIRECTV NOW will be available at launch through the following:

  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • Android mobile devices and tablets
  • iPhone, iPad and Apple TV
  • Chromecast (Android at launch; iOS in 2017)
  • Google Cast-enabled LeEco ecotvs and VIZIO SmartCast Displays
  • Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari web browsers

In 2017, we plan to add more devices to our lineup including Roku® streaming players and Roku TV™ models3, Amazon Fire tablets, and Smart TVs from Samsung and other leading brands.

Customers can get an Apple TV included with 3 months pre-paid of any DIRECTV NOW package. Apple TV features high-performance hardware and an intuitive and fun user interface using voice and the Siri Remote. For details, visit www.directvnow.com/appletv.

Customers can opt for an Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote included with 1 month pre-paid of any DIRECTV NOW package. For details, visit www.directvnow.com/FireStick.

Starting tomorrow, LeEco is also offering DIRECTV NOW service with the purchase of LeEco smartphones and TVs. For more information, visit www.LeMall.com.

  • 3 months: Le S3 and Le Pro3 ecophones or Super4 X43 Pro ecotv
  • 6 months: Super4 X55 or Super4 X65 ecotvs
  • 12 months: uMax8 ecotv

Or for a limited time, you can get 1 month of DIRECTV NOW service when you buy a Lenovo laptop with Intel® Core™i3, i5 or i7 processor. For more information, visit www.lenovo.com.

 

It’s likely this offer will face little resistance with the FCC membership changing and the Republicans opposing net neutrality.

 

by Phil Baker

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