Cord-cutters looking to shed their monthly cable bills have another option for getting their favorite shows streamed into their home in the form of DirecTV Now. And this one features a lot of channels.
After weeks of teases for its streaming service, DirecTV owner, AT&T took the wraps off DirecTV Now today (Nov. 28). The streaming service starts at $35 a month for a package that includes 60-plus channels and scales up to a $70-a-month 120-plus channel package. The service launches this Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Those channels will include programming from some pretty noteworthy broadcasters. Including network broadcasts from the likes of ABC, NBC and Fox, DirecTV Now will offer channels with content from Disney, ESPN, AMC, A+E, Turner, Viacom, Starz, Univision, Scripps, Discovery, Hallmark, Fuse, Bloomberg and Revolt. HBO and Cinemax are available, too, though as $5 monthly add-ons to your DirecTV Now package.
Notably missing from that list are CBS and Showtime, though AT&T executives stressed during today's launch event that they hope to one day reach an agreement with those broadcasters. DirecTV's popular NFL Sunday Ticket, which gives subscribers to the satellite TV service access to every NFL game, also won't be part of the DirecTV Now streaming package, at least for now.
In addition to the 60- and 120-channel tiers, DirecTV Now will feature a $50-a-month, 80-plus channel package and a $60-a-month subscription offering 100 channels. That latter package is the most intriguing, since AT&T will offer 100 channels for $35 a month as a limited-time promotion to attract early adopters.
DirecTV Now compares well with competing streaming services on quantity and price. While Sling TV starts at a lower $20-a-month cost, that basic offering features 30 or so channels. PlayStation Vue's most compelling package currently costs $55 a month and promises 90 channels including sports and movie networks.
Those other two services offer something DirecTV doesn't at launch, though: DVR capabilities for recording programs and watching them at your leisure. PlayStation Vue already boasts a DVR feature; Sling TV announced today that it's launching a beta for its DVR service next month. AT&T says DVR features won't be available on its service until next year.
AT&T hopes to compete with Sling TV and PlaysStation Vue in other ways, though. For starters, if you're an AT&T Wireless customer, you'll be able to watch DirecTV Now programming without affecting your monthly data allotment. AT&T is also looking to lure new customers with hardware. Prepay for three months of DirecTV Now and you can get an Apple TV set-top box; prepaying for a month of service gets you an Amazon Fire TV Stick. LeEco will offer you three months to a year of DirecTV Now service if you buy one of the company's selected phones or TVs, while Lenovo is offering a free month of the streaming service when you buy a laptop with a Core i3, i5 or i7 processor.
In addition to Apple TV and the Fire TV Stick, DirecTV Now will also work with Android mobile devices, iPhones, iPads, Fire TVs, GoogleCast-enabled LeEco TVs and Vizio SmartCast displays, and web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari. Chromecast will support DirecTV Now on Android at launch; iOS support for Chromecast will follow in 2017. AT&T also plans to add support for Roku devices, Amazon tablets and Samsung Smart TVs in 2017.
Information is still emerging about DirecTV Now, such as in what markets you'll be able to live stream network TV programming and which ones will offer on-demand viewing the next day. We plan to have a better sense of what you can expect from DirecTV Now and how it compares to rival streaming services by the time streaming begins on Nov. 30.