AT&T is getting ready to launch a fourth streaming television service this summer. Why? We wish we knew.
The company announced the new service, called AT&T TV, on Wednesday (July 24) during its earnings call, according to CNet.
Details about AT&T TV, as the new service will be called, are light. AT&T hasn’t said what AT&T TV will include, or how much it will cost, only that the company plans to pilot it in select markets this summer before a wider roll-out later this year.
Of course, the company also already has its live TV service DirecTV Now, which has lost subscribers and jacked up prices in recent months, and Watch TV, which is bundled with AT&T’s premium unlimited plans. That service offers 35+ channels. Then there’s HBO Max, the much-anticipated service from AT&T-owned WarnerMedia, which launches this fall.
As a former DirecTV Now subscriber who jumped ship when the prices increased, and as an AT&T unlimited plan subscriber who had never heard of Watch TV, I can’t help but wonder how AT&T will draw people to pay for this new streaming service. HBO Max will lure subscribers with every season of Friends, in addition to WarnerMedia’s entire catalog of shows and movies (but really, people want Friends). HBO Max will also feature exclusive original content from the likes of Reese Witherspoon.
If AT&T used its power (and its ownership of huge brands like DirecTV and WarnerMedia) to make one super-streaming service with AT&T TV, the new offering could undercut traditional cable on price and content. Or maybe AT&T just wants four streaming services in its portfolio, just because it can.