Fresh off its spinoff from AT&T, DirecTV rebranded AT&T’s former multichannel video streaming services into DirecTV Stream.
“We’re excited to introduce DirecTV Stream bringing together the best of Live TV and On-Demand content like never seen before,” said Vince Torres, chief marketing officer, DirecTV.
DirecTV Stream, which is separate from the DirecTV satellite service and legacy U-verse TV, has had many names. An iteration of the service was originally launched in 2016 as DirecTV Now. In 2019, AT&T, looking to shed the association with its struggling satellite service, rebranded the service as AT&T TV Now. AT&T TV Now then merged in 2021 with AT&T’s IP-based TV offering AT&T TV.
“This is a watershed moment for DirecTV as we return to a singular focus on providing a stellar video experience,” said DirecTV CEO Bill Morrow in announcing the rebrand. “Building on our recent momentum, we are well-positioned to bring unparalleled choice and value to all of our customers under one iconic brand whether they beam it or stream it.”
AT&T made a deal with investment firm TPG to divest its pay-TV assets, including the DirecTV satellite service, AT&T TV (now DirecTV Stream), and U-verse. The deal excluded HBO Max, which AT&T is in the process of selling to Discovery as part of its WarnerMedia agreement.
How much does DirecTV Stream cost and how many channels do I get?
DirecTV Stream subs have four packages to choose from: Entertainment, Choice, Ultimate, and Premier.
If you want just the essentials, the Entertainment package will do for you. At $69.99 per month, you get 65+ channels, such as ESPN, TNT, Nickelodeon and HGTV, as well as Showtime, EPIX and Cinemax included for the first three months.
Next up is the Choice tier at $89.99 per month, which includes 90+ channels, regional sports networks. You'll also get HBO Max, Showtime, EPIX and Cinemax for the first three months.
The Ultimate package will give you 130+ channels for $104.99 per month. It includes everything from Choice with 40+ more channels.
Premier features 140+ channels, including HBO Max and Showtime, and will set you back $149.99 per month.
What about sports and NFL Sunday Ticket?
Sports fans will get ESPN with the Entertainment package. If you want more sports content, though, you will have to pony up. The Choice tier will get you MLB Network, NBA TV, college sports, and regional sports networks. NHL and golf fans will have to upgrade to the Ultimate package for those sports’ respective networks.
NFL Sunday Ticket is up in the air. DirecTV’s current $1.5 billion per year deal with the NFL for the package expires at the end of the 2022 NFL season and reports have suggested that DirecTV isn’t looking to re-up for Sunday Ticket. (https://www.nexttv.com/news/directv-mulls-co-exclusive-arrangement-for-nfl-sunday-ticket)
DirecTV Chief Content Officer Rob Thun told CNET in February (cnet.com/tech/home-entertainment/the-super-bowl-is-over-now-its-time-to-see-who-gets-nfl-sunday-ticket/) that "I don't think [the NFL is] interested in an exclusive relationship beyond the term of our underlying deal," Thun said. "And what form the licensing takes with one partner or many is still undetermined, and we'll see how that plays out."
Are AT&T TV, DirecTV Now and DirecTV Stream the same?
DirecTV Stream is the "single brand for video streaming services previously launched by AT&T, excluding HBO Max." This excludes DirecTV satellite service and U-verse TV, which AT&T stopped selling in April 2020. This includes IP-based TV service AT&T TV. AT&T merged vMVPD AT&T TV Now, originally launched in 2016 as DirecTV Now, into AT&T TV in early 2021.
Where can you watch DirecTV Stream?
Subscribers can watch DirecTV Stream, which comes with unlimited cloud DVR storage, on the DirecTV Stream Device or via the DirecTV Stream app on Roku, Apple TV, Android, Amazon Fire TV stick, Chromecast, and select Samsung TV models. ■
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Jessika is an analyst for TVREV and Fabric Media. She previously served in various roles at Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV, working with the brands since 2013. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects in the media and entertainment space, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.