The DirecTV Now launch event will likely be the first time we’ll get more details on just which channels will be included in AT&T’s $35/month online bundle. Speculation fueled by leaked documents procured by Variety point to HBO, AMC, Starz, NBCUniversal, ESPN, and Disney as just some of the networks signed-up for the initial launch.
Viacom channels—recently dropped by PlayStation Vue for “pricing reasons”—are also expected to be available to DirecTV Now customers upon launch.
Seven-day free trials will be available for potential customers when DirecTV Now launches. AT&T is also incentivizing new users by giving those who sign up for a one-month contract an Amazon Fire TV Stick, while three-month commitments will earn customers an Apple TV. DirecTV Now subscribers who happen to be AT&T mobile customers will also be eligible to stream content to their devices without cutting into monthly cellular data limits.
The $35 price-point for DirecTV Now has industry insiders “shocked”, according to Business Insider—especially considering AT&T is promising 100+ channels will be made available on the streaming service. However, without the legacy satellite & other equipment costs associated with an online-only provider, DirecTV Now has significantly less overhead than DirecTV or AT&T’s other television provider, Uverse; thereby reducing the need to charge customers more.
AT&T could see a further competitive advantage if its merger with Time Warner is approved sometime in 2017—though, with Trump’s surprise presidential win this month, that deal is now seemingly up in the air.