Local NBC on DirecTV Now limited to PCs, mobile devices: report

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DirecTV Now viewers hoping to tune into local NBC broadcasts may be limited in which devices they can use, according to Variety.

The publication obtained customer support documents that offer more information on the imminent live streaming TV service from AT&T and one quirk reveals that, in the markets where local NBC is available, viewers will have to use PCs or mobile devices to see those affiliate broadcasts. No streaming boxes or smart TVs allowed.

That rules out popular devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google Chromecast as well as smart TVs from manufacturers like Sony and Samsung, and could hurt NBC viewership on the service.

Interestingly, ABC/Disney, which has also signed up for DirecTV Now, doesn’t appear to have a similar condition placed on its local affiliates. NBC didn’t respond to a request for comment from Variety.

Of course, it’s worth noting that both CBS and Fox have yet to sign distribution deals with the service and it’s possible that access to local broadcasts could be a sticking point with those deals. Although, both CBS and Fox are listed among the available channels within the report.

"Should this report prove correct, then it seems as though AT&T will have a full suite of content partners at the launch of the service or shortly thereafter," Barclays analyst Amir Rozwadowski wrote in a research note.

The channel list included in the documents show networks from programmers including Disney, Viacom, Scripps, Discovery, A&E Networks, HBO and Starz. Though it’s not clear which networks will be included at the $35 starting price point, the report suggests that premium channels will be available as add-on tiers.

Variety reports that DirecTV Now will feature a 72-hour catch-up function, allowing users to view shows up to three days after they originally aired. However, ESPN will not be included in the feature.