AT&T has finally unveiled it’s much talked about DIRECTV NOW service. The service will provide live TV over the internet, much like Sling TV and Playstation Vue. The service launches today (November 30th, 2017) in the U.S. on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and most modern web browsers. Roku support should be arriving soon.
The service will allow customers to watch 2 streams simultaneously per subscription. Unfortunately, the service will not include a cloud based DVR at launch. However, a full cloud based DVR is in the works for next year.
As a benefit to AT&T data plan customers, DIRECTV NOW will not count against their data usage. On it’s surface, this seems great. However, this could be problematic for anyone interested in cheaper wireless and internet service due to competition in the industry.
This practice is referred to as “zero rating” and allows AT&T to provide preferential treatment to their service leaving internet service providers that don’t own TV networks at a competitive disadvantage. But I digress. Let’s take a look at the channels available on this new streaming service.
DIRECTV NOW Channels
The broadcast networks ABC, NBC, and Fox will be available live in major markets where the network owns the local affiliate. However, most customers will be able to watch prime time shows the next day on demand.
Live a Little
The “Live a Little” tier is priced at $35 per month and contains Fox News, CNN, Nickelodeon, MSNBC, Hallmark Channel, ESPN, Disney, HGTV, USA, ID, TNT, Food, TBS, History, Discovery, Disney Jr, TV Land, Nick Jr, AMC, FX, FXX, Bravo, Lifetime, A&E, Animal Planet, BBC America, Bloomberg, BET, Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, Comedy Central, Disney XD, E!, ESPN2, Fox Business, FS1, Galavision, HLN, MTV, MTV2, Spike, Syfy, TCM, TLC, Univision, VH1, and more.
Priced at $50 per month the “Just Right” package contains everything in “Live a Little,” but adds the following channels; ESPN News, ESPNU, NBCSN, MLB Network, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, CNBC World, SEC Network, IFC, BTN, Cooking Channel, Fusion, Own, Yes, Travel Channel, Science, Unamas, The Weather Channel, GSN, Comedy TV and more.
Normally priced at $60 per month, the “Go Big” package includes all the channels from the “Just Right” tier and adds the following channels:
FS2, Golf, NBA TV, DIY, NHL Channel, FXM, fyi, Discovery Family, Nat Geo Wild, Oxygen, Sundance TV, Tennis Channel, MTV Classic, BBC World News, and more.
Gotta Have It
The “Gotta Have It” tier includes everything from the “Go Big” tier and costs $70 per month. It adds all the Stars and Encore channels along with Boomerang, Chiller, Cloo, El Rey, Univision Desportes and more.
HBO and Cinemax
Both HBO and Cinemax can be added to any tier for just $5 each.
Regional Sports Networks
Direct TV does have the local market NBA, MLB, and NHL teams through various regional sports networks. However, the availability is broken down by zip code. This PDF outlines what regional sports network and team is available through DIRECTV NOW by zip code.
DIRECTV NOW Deals
Currently, DIRECTV NOW is offering a few promotions. New Subscribers can get either a free Apple TV ($150 MSRP) with three months of service, or a free Amazon Fire TV Stick ($40 MSRP) with one month of service. You can sign up for a free trial and take advantage of those deals on their website.
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