AT&T debuts WatchTV skinny bundle for its new unlimited wireless plans

Watch will include access to more than 30 entertainment-themed basic cable networks but will not deliver access to local broadcast stations or sports channels. (AT&T)

Fresh off the closure of its Time Warner Inc. merger, AT&T has unveiled a new virtual pay TV service designed to be packaged with its unlimited wireless plans.

WatchTV will include more than 30 entertainment-oriented basic cable networks—mostly Turner Networks channels like TNT, TBS and CNN, but also AMC and A&E. It will be bundled into AT&T’s new “Unlimited & More” and “Premium” mobile phone plans that will launch next week.

WatchTV will also be available as a standalone offering for $15 a month.

At no additional monthly cost, users can choose to add one premium service from a list that includes HBO, Pandora Premium and Amazon Music. 

Notable to cable operators concerned about wireless broadband: Users are allocated 15 gigabytes a month of high-speed tethering.

Subscribers to the new AT&T unlimited data plans also get a $15 monthly credit on AT&T’s other pay TV services—DirecTV satellite, U-verse and virtual MVPD DirecTV Now. 

RELATED: AT&T Watch TV skinny bundle launching this week

In the runup to Watch’s launch, AT&T executives described the product as the low-end portion of a multitier OTT product offering that—in addition to the $40-a-month DirecTV Now—will also include an $80-a-month full bundle of channels.

As for Watch, it is devoid of local broadcast channels, as well as ESPN, pro league channels like NFL Network and regional sports networks. In addition to the aforementioned channels, users have access to Animal Planet, Audience, BBC World News, BBC America, Boomerang, Discovery, Food Network, FYI, Hallmark, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HGTV, History, HLN, IFC, ID, Lifetime, Lifetime Movies, OWN, Sundance TV, TBS, TCM, TLC, TNT, TruTV, Velocity, Viceland and weTV.

AT&T said Viacom networks BET, Comedy Central, MTV 2, Nick Toons, Teen Nick and VH1 are “coming soon.”

Users also have access to 15,000 movies and TV shows on demand.

“We were the first wireless provider to bring entertainment and unlimited data together, and, once again, we’re redefining what that means,” said David Christopher, president of AT&T mobility and entertainment, in a statement. “This is no longer about including one channel or service with your wireless plan, but an incredible lineup of content that delivers more of what you care about—over 30 live TV channels and more than 15,000 TV shows and movies on demand, as well as premium movie channels, music streaming with more to come.”

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