Looking to soon own HBO outright, AT&T is already leveraging the premium network in a very aggressive way, offering customers who sign up for the higher tiers of its virtual MVPD service a free year of the network.
Those who sign up for the 100-plus-channel “Go Big” tier and the 120-plus-channel “Gotta Have It Package” are eligible for the promotion. Those who pre-pay three months in advance on any of the four DirecTV Now tiers still get a free Apple TV through March 30.
Certainly, the v-MVPD market is much more competitive than it even was on Nov. 30, when AT&T launched its service. Since that time, Dish Network’s Sling TV has established coveted cloud DVR capability, and another v-MVPD, YouTube TV has entered the fray. Meanwhile, it was just reported today that Hulu has added NBCUniversal cable networks to its upcoming live-streamed pay-TV service.
For its part, AT&T is looking for regulatory approval on its $85.4 billion bid to buy HBO’s corporate parent, Time Warner Inc.
AT&T was already offering HBO to DirecTV customers for the loss-leading price of $5 a month.
“With our HBO offer we’re reminding consumers that DirecTV Now is the best choice for premium content,” said Brad Bentley, executive VP and chief marketing officer, AT&T Entertainment Group, in a statement. “Our new DirecTV Now customers can stream HBO’s award winning content on virtually any screen, like Game of Thrones and Veep and its popular new series Big Little Lies – all included with their service for a year. Plus, if you pre-purchase three months of DirecTV Now, you’ll get an incredible viewing experience with an Apple TV included.”