AT&T sets DirecTV Now launch party for Nov. 28 in NYC


AT&T will conduct an invitation-only event to what it says will celebrate the launch of DirecTV Now on Nov. 28 in New York City.

The announcement doesn’t answer one of the pay-TV industry’s biggest questions right now: When the virtual MPVD service will officially launch into the commercial market. 

But the event, held on the ninth floor of Venue 57 NYC at 24 West 57th St., promises a 4:00 p.m. press conference and product demos starting at 5:00 p.m. Product availability will reportedly be part of the presentation.

AT&T is interacting through social media with the hashtag #MoreTVFreedom.

RELATED: DirecTV Now margins only 1-2%, but ads and low capex will make it work, Deutsche Bank says

AT&T has said the IP-based DirecTV Now service will debut in November with more than 100 channels and will be priced at $35 a month. 

The company has announced programming deals with every major conglomerate, save 21st Century Fox and CBS Corp. 

And in webpages that have been since taken down, AT&T revealed that the service will stream on the current versions of every major streaming device, save Roku. 

Given the service’s price point and the number of channels it’s carrying, analysts suspect its margins will be very thin.

“Gross margins don’t look great,” said Deutsche Bank’s Matthew Niknam in a note to investors published Monday. “A simple analysis ($35 monthly rate less estimated content costs/sub) would indicate gross margins for DirecTV Now are no higher than single-digit percentages, significantly below an estimated ~45 percent for the traditional video business. But we also believe this may be underestimating the potential for advertising revenues, which could add another ~$5/month in ARPU. With that in mind, the DTV Now (OTT) gross margin improves modestly to the high-teens, but is still less than half of traditional linear video.”