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DirecTV Now to Offer ABC, NBC Live Streams in 'Select Markets'

Recent updates to the Web site for DirecTV Now show that AT&T’s coming OTT-TV service will support live local streams of ABC and NBC in “select markets” and will initially support a handful of streaming platforms, including the Amazon Fire TV box, fourth-gen Apple TV, Google Cast, as well as Web browsers and Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. 

That update, spotted today by TV Predictions among others, also says DirecTV Now will be “coming soon” to the Google Chromecast streaming adapter and Amazon Fire TV Stick.


-The DirecTV Now Web site, as of about 12:30 p.m. ET, appears to be down. 

-As of 1 p.m. ET, the DirecTV Now Web site was back online, though the new material about content and platform support has been removed. At last check, the site has reverted back to an original teaser version that lets prospective customers input their contact information and receive future updates. 

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DirecTV Now will start at $35 per month with 100-plus channels and launch sometime next month.

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DirecTV Now’s initial lineup has not been announced, but the site does note that live streams from ABC and NBC will be “available in select markets,” that customers will be able to add-on HBO and Cinemax, and that the service will feature more than 10,000 on-demand movies and TV shows. The site did not spell out which markets will get those local live feeds, but it's likely that they will initially include those in the ABC and NBC owned-and-operated markets. 

Per the DirecTV Now site, customers will also be able to try the service for free for seven days.

Viacom, NBCU,  Discovery Communications, Scripps Networks, A+E Networks and Turner are among the programmers that have announced distribution deals for DirecTV Now.

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On the backend, AT&T is reserving enough capacity to support about 1 million simultaneous DirecTV Now customers, according to a report from Dan Rayburn, EVP for and principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

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Rayburn said AT&T will be using “at least three CDN partners” for DirecTV Now, including Akamai, Level 3 Communications and Limelight Networks.

The analyst also estimated that if AT&T did sign up 1 million subs and each sub watched 90 hours of video a month, or about three hours per day, the total volume of traffic per user would be 85 gigabytes, using an average bit rate of 2.1 Mbps.

If that traffic was to be divided by three CDN partners equally, Rayburn further estimated that the value of the contract to each would be about $850,000 per month.

“But AT&T won’t have 1M subscribers from day one and most users probably won’t watch 90 hours a month, or will watch some on mobile, which takes up far fewer bits,” Rayburn wrote. “For the first few quarters the delivery business would only be worth about $250,000 to each CDN per month, as AT&T ramps.”