AT&T launched a range of cross-platform video streaming services, including its anticipated DirecTV Now proposition, stating the services will help it expand the reach of its pay-TV offering to customers who were previously excluded.
Speaking at last night’s New York launch, AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey heralded it as the company’s biggest-ever play in the media sector (following its DirecTV acquisition and planned Time Warner tie-up).
He said its multi-platform ability, mobile focus and flexibility would bring a new audience into the pay-TV arena.
“This is foundation for how we’re going to do things in the future,” said Stankey. “This is bigger than the Universe product ten years ago when we entered the TV business, because for the first time in our history we have control of the full stack – the software and the platform – to bring it out to the end user. That puts us in a very unique position.”
He went on to outline that the service was built with “mobile in mind”, and would seek to address the 20 million households in the US without a pay-TV subscription, in addition to customers already receiving premium TV services.
Among the customers on his target list are those unlikely to pass credit checks or those in rented accommodation unable to commit to long contracts.
AT&T’s DirecTV services have already attracted attention from the US Federal Communications Commission, which raised concerns about the ability of the wider market to compete after AT&T announced the service wouldn’t carry data charges.
AT&T argued a rival provider could use AT&T’s sponsored data programme to offer their own video services which could also include free mobile access.
The new DirecTV service will be made available across the US tomorrow.