AT&T plans to introduce a new TV streaming service with an attractive price of only $15 per month. The initial announcement of AT&T Watch actually happened on the witness stand. Company chief, Randall Stephenson mentioned it as part of his testimony in the federal antitrust case regarding their attempted acquisition of Time Warner.
News about the new AT&T Watch streaming service appeared on CNN among other sources. Read further to learn the details. Maybe this is the low cost digital TV option your family needs in 2018?
The Details on AT&T Watch
It looks like AT&T’s new TV streaming service is aimed at mobile users as much as those watching from home. Watch shares similarities with another streaming service owned by AT&T: DirecTV Now. One major difference with the new service is the lack of any sports channels. This likely allows AT&T to charge only a $15 monthly fee, compared to the $35 per month cost of DirecTV Now.
AT&T Watch came up during Stephenson’s testimony as an example of an inexpensive product designed to benefit consumers. In fact, the live TV streaming service looks attractive to those cord cutters currently impacting the entire industry. These “skinny cable” video streaming bundles remain popular, as evidenced by Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others.
Stephenson cited Watch as an example of AT&T’s current innovation when it comes to streaming. A pretrial brief hinted at the product’s announcement:
“The merger will enable AT&T to transform the mobile video marketplace by combining Time Warner’s content assets with its wireless platform to develop new and more valuable services especially for mobile video devices. For example: AT&T would launch a new service with Turner and a small number of popular cable networks, which would be made available for free to AT&T’s wireless customers on unlimited plans and for a nominal price to anyone else.”
A company spokesperson mentioned AT&T Watch will be available to consumers within a few weeks. Current subscribers to AT&T’s unlimited wireless service receive Watch for free, while all other users – AT&T customers or not – pay the regular $15 price. At the time of this writing, no information on Watch appeared on the company’s website.
The Future of Live TV Streaming is Now
Whatever Randall Stephenson’s true reasons for announcing AT&T Watch, it illustrates the growing migration towards video streaming products. Consumers no longer want to pay over $100 every month for an array of live TV, sports, and movie channels. Considering ESPN charges providers the most for its channels, customers who aren’t sports fans appreciate a cheaper option without those sports offerings, also including Fox Sports Network or the NFL Network.
If a customer wants a skinny bundle with HBO or Netflix, they simply pay extra for those movie channels. The same rule applies to network content, like Disney and ABC, CBS, as well as Comcast’s NBC. Other, more esoteric channels, like AMC or even the YouTube TV service simply get added as extras.
Hopefully in the long run, the consumer benefits from being to pay less each month for the channels they truly want. This concept especially applies if they need to subscribe to a high speed Internet product to get the bandwidth they need for a live TV streaming service. A quality streaming device like the Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV also matters.
Also you need to consider DVR storage. One option involves using a Cloud DVR service. This lets you maintain your own recorded programs online.
Stay tuned to Bandwidth Place for additional coverage of AT&T Watch when new details are announced.