AT&T and Time Warner announced merger plans recently, and speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live event today, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson announced that one of the reasons for that merger is to allow AT&T to launch a new internet-only TV service with more than 100 channels of “premium” content, including Time Warner-owned channels.
Time Warner owns TBS, CNN, HBO, and Cinemax, among other properties.
The new service is expected to be called DirecTV Now and it will launch at the end of November. A subscription is expected to cost $35 per month.
Update: Leaked documents indicate that prices start at $35, but that premium channels will be available as add-ons for additional fees.
That would make DirecTV Now pretty competitive with other internet-only TV services.
SlingTV offers plans starting at $20 per month, but you have to pay extra for premium channels such as HBO. PlayStation Vue prices start at $40 per month for 60+ channels, but go all the way up to $75 per month for a larger selection of channels (including HBO and Showtime).
It’s not entirely clear if the $35 price Stephenson mentioned includes HBO, but if it does, that sounds like a pretty good deal: an HBO Now subscription alone runs about $15 per month. Stephenson did confirm that channels from Fox and NBC Universal would be included in the service, as well as Time Warner-owned properties including TBS and CNN.
Update: Nope. You’ll have to pay extra for HBO. But if you sign up for 1-3 months, you may be able to score a free media streaming device such as an Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV.
Stephenson described the service as mobile-focused, and says the goal is to go after the roughly 20 million Americans that have stopped paying for cable TV.