HBO with AT&T Streaming
HBO SIGNS WITH AT&T FOR STREAMING VIDEO SERVICE
AT&T SEES A NEED
Since buying DirecTV last March, AT&T has moved aggressively into internet video streaming. This was partially a response to the success of Dish Network’s Sling TV platform. AT&T realized that to compete successfully in TV services, it would need its own streaming platform.
With this in mind, America’s largest telecom decided early this summer that it would expand DirecTV’s product range. DirecTV would begin operating three internet video streaming services in the fourth quarter of this year. All are geared for the growing market of people uninterested in conventional subscription TV. Two are to be offered for monthly fees. One is to carry advertising, and will be free to the viewer. None will require contracts, long term commitments, or installation of specialized equipment. All can be streamed through any ISP the customer chooses, as long as it carries enough bandwidth to support video. All will be compatible with a wide variety of computers, tablets, smart phones, and dedicated video streaming devices.
A&T plans to market its DirecTV video streaming services to twenty million U.S. homes unreached by conventional subscription TV.
Now AT&T is getting serious about filling the new platforms with content. Disney announced recently that the new streaming packages will carry its channels (ABC, ESPN, A&E, and others). AT&T announced on Friday that DirecTV Now, designed for mobile devices, will carry HBO and Cinemax. The arrangement with HBO is part of a multi-year, multi-platform contract with DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse. AT&T calls the “all-platform” contract historic because it covers conventional telecom and satellite platforms as well as internet streaming.
With Disney and HBO on board, AT&T is likely to find it easier to sign licensing agreements with other content providers.
AT&T has not yet announced monthly rates for its new streaming services, but they are expected to be competitive with Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.
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