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AT&T Eyes Launch of Sports-Free Skinny OTT TV Service: Reports

AT&T is preparing to introduce a $15 per month, sports-free OTT TV service called AT&T Watch, in the coming weeks, according Twitter-based coverage of AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson’s antitrust trial testimony for the pending AT&T-Time Warner merger. 

Update: AT&T is also looking to make this package available for free to customers on its unlimited mobile service plans. 

RELATED: AT&T’s Stephenson Says Need for Scale Led to Time Warner Buy

Brian Fung, a tech reporter for The Washington Post, was on the scene and tweeted that AT&T Watch would be an OTT TV service, like DirecTV Now is, but start at a less expensive price point and not include sports programming:

[embed]https://twitter.com/b_fung/status/987062529338826752[/embed]

AT&T has been asked for further details, but Fung noted later that the company confirmed some of the basic details mentioned by Stephenson:

[embed]https://twitter.com/b_fung/status/987080231235346433[/embed]

AT&T hasn’t detailed pricing and packaging for this new OTT TV offering, but it would appear to be most akin to an entertainment-focused national offering from Philo that launched last November and starts at $16 per month, and on the complete opposite end of the spectrum of fuboTV, the sports-oriented virtual MVPD.

Update:Per CNN, AT&T Watch will be available for sale to all, but will be offered for free to consumers who take AT&T’s unlimited wireless service.

CNN added that AT&T alluded to this offering in a pretrial brief, holding that a combination with Time Warner would enable AT&T to bring those content assets to its wireless platform to “develop new and more valuable services especially for mobile video devices.”

Among examples, AT&T noted that it 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."

RELATED: Philo Unleashes Entertainment-Focused OTT TV Service

Philo hasn’t announced subscriber figures or ramped up a bunch of marketing for its new service, so it’s difficult to determine how its sports-free offering is resonating in the market. As for AT&T, a skinny bundle without sports would address a part of the market not covered as directly by DirecTV Now, which ended 2017 with 1.15 million subscribers.