AT&T to Introduce Broadband-Delivered OTT DirecTV Product

John Donovan

John Donovan

AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan told an industry audience Tuesday (May 15) that it plans to launch a broadband-delivered over-the-top DirecTV-branded product by the end of the year, bringing the number of subscription video products from the company to five.

At the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit, Donovan said the offering would be different from its current DirecTV-branded over-the-top product DirecTV Now in that it will be basically the same DirecTV service currently available over satellite.

The new DirecTV broadband delivered offering will have the same look and feel of the satellite service, but will be a lot less expensive on the front end.

“We won’t roll a truck," Donovan said. “The CPE will be cheaper, it will be a thinner, lighter version and we will have lower operating costs. We anticipate passing a lot of those cost savings.”

In an earlier talk at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media & Communications conference in Boston, AT&T chairman and CEO said the service would be priced in the $80 to $90 per month range, as opposed to $120 to $200 per month for satellite DirecTV service.  The offering is also expected to allow the company to provide service in locations where customers could not receive a satellite signal or in apartment complexes that do not allow satellite dish installation.

“It will extend our footprint,” Donovan said at the MoffettNathanson event. “It will not only have a lower price point, but it will have margins that are similar and, therefore, better returns because there will be less upfront costs.

In addition to its satellite TV offering DirecTV, its wireline IPTV offering U-verse TV and DirecTV Now, AT&T also has announced plans to launch a sports-free skinny TV offering – AT&T Watch – that would be priced at about $15 per month for non-AT&T wireless customers and free for AT&T wireless subscribers with unlimited data plans. 

Earlier Tuesday, Stephenson said that DirecTV Now is launching an updated version that includes a cloud DVR later today (May 15).