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Scripps Added to DirecTV Now

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AT&T’s Move into Internet Video Streaming

When buying DirecTV last year, AT&T promised aggressive moves into internet video streaming. The company offered more detail about the project early this year. AT&T would offer three streaming services under the DirecTV brand in the fourth quarter. The most important of these, DirecTV Now, would carry a wide range of channels, like a conventional cable or satellite TV service.

Since August, AT&T has been active in licensing content for its new video platforms. In less than two months, it has signed contracts with Disney, NBC Universal, Discovery Networks, HBO and Cinemax, and the Turner Networks.

Scripps Channels Added to Streaming Platforms

On Thursday, AT&T announced a new retransmission contract with Scripps Networks Interactive. The deal covers carriage rights for all of AT&T’s TV platforms. They will include the AT&T U-Verse fiber TV service and DirecTV satellite TV, as well as the new internet streaming video services.

Scripps Networks feature primarily lifestyle programming. They include the Cooking Channel, DIY Network, Food Network, HGTV, Great American Country, the Travel Channel, and TVN. UKTV, a joint venture between Scripps and BBC Worldwide, broadcasts in Ireland and Britain.

With this latest licensing agreement, DirecTV Now has rights to carry more than 100 channels.

Value and Pricing of DirecTV Now

Randall Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T, told investors that his company will launch DirecTV Now with more than 100 channels late this year “at a very aggressive price point”. For AT&T wireless data customers, DirecTV Now streaming won’t count against their data caps. “We’ll be rolling it out in a couple of months”, Stephenson said. “We’re talking 100 plus channels at a very aggressive price point. And when you buy this content, the data required to stream it onto your mobile device is incorporated into the price of the content…”

AT&T has not yet acquired licensing rights for DirecTV Now from 21st Century Fox, CBS Corp, or AMC Networks. With its recent momentum in signing agreements with other broadcasters, though, it’s likely to sign with the holdouts within a few months.

DirecTV Now customers won’t need conventional satellite dishes or cable connections, won’t have to undergo credit checks, and won’t have to schedule installation of equipment. They can open the DirecTV Now app with four-digit personal login codes. The app will be compatible with Mac and PC computers, Android and iOS tablets and phones, and a wide variety of dedicated streaming devices.


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