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AT&T’s DirecTV To Go Over The Top

DirecTV owner AT&T will launch DirecTV-branded OTT video programming over any fixed-broadband or cellular network to smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, PCs and streaming-media devices, AT&T announced.

The company plans in the fourth quarter to launch three tiers of OTT services, including a free ad-supported service. The company didn’t disclose the channel lineups for the services or the pricing, but it did say the app-based options “will offer a range of service levels and price points, all of which include high-quality DirecTV video and exclusive AT&T Entertainment Group content.” Each tier will allow an unspecified number of simultaneous sessions.

The services won’t require annual contracts, set-top boxes or in-home installation services as satellite-delivered DirecTV service does.

The services are “designed for customers looking for premium content with choice and flexibility in what they want to watch and how they want to watch it,” the company said in a statement.

A range of content packages will include “much of what is available from DirecTV today — on-demand and live programming from many networks plus premium add-on options,” a spokesperson told TWICE. “We expect to be able to offer local-channel coverage in the future.”

“We are looking at these offerings differently than others in the market,” added John Stankey, CEO of the AT&T Entertainment Group. “We often hear from customers who want more content from streaming services, or who can’t get or can’t afford a traditional pay-TV service.” So the new services will offer “a quality pay-TV experience, including top channels, sports and more, with increased value and flexibility of pure online streaming and no need for home installation.”

Here are the three service tiers:

DirecTV Now: A range of content packages will include “much of what is available from DirecTV today,” including on-demand and live programming from “many networks” plus premium add-on options.

DirecTV Mobile: Positioned as an “affordable offer,” this mobile-focused tier will provide “premium video and made-for-digital content directly on a smartphone, regardless of the wireless provider,” the company said.

DirecTV Preview: The free service with tailored ads for wired or wireless Internet connections “will feature some of the quality programming available on DirecTV today,” the company said. The service will showcase content from AT&T’s Audience Network, “many networks and other content sources,” and millennial-focused video from Otter Media, a joint venture of AT&T and The Chernin Group.

AT&T will continue to provide DirecTV’s premium satellite service, which includes the exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket Package.

Last July, AT&T bought DirecTV and became the first U.S. carrier to offer a nationwide bundle of TV and cellphone service. AT&T also began offering DirecTV content to the AT&T phones of DirecTV subscribers.