Looking for any edge it can find in the ultracompetitive race for vMVPD supremacy, AT&T announced the launch of 13 more broadcast network affiliates on DirecTV Now.
The stations include Boston Fox affiliate WFXT-TV. DirecTV Now viewers in Beantown now have local access to all the Big Four networks.
In Detroit, DirecTV Now launched NBC station WDIV-TV, also giving the Motor City all the Big Four locals, in addition to CW station WKBD-TV.
Other DirecTV Now launches included ABC affiliate WCHS-TV and NBC station WSAZ-TV in Charleston-Huntington, West Virginia; ABC station WKEF-TV in Dayton, Ohio; ABC outlet WZVN-TV and NBC affiliate WBBH-TV in Fort Myers-Naples, Florida; ABC station WBAY-TV and NBC affiliate WGBA-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin; ABC outlet KITV-TV in Honolulu; Fox affiliate WHBQ-TV in Memphis, Tennessee; ABC station WSET-TV in Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia; and Fox affiliate KOKI-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
With the launches, AT&T said it now offers at least one local station on its virtual MVPD service in 75% of the country. Last month, AT&T announced the addition of around 40 network affiliates, a gain that put its virtual service at around 170 local stations.
With vMVPDs bundling much the same channels and features for similar prices, establishing retrans deals with local channels has become an important differentiator for these nationally distributed services.
As usual, AT&T said nothing about broadcast retransmission licensing terms in its press release. However, the operator did note a recent TiVo survey that said that DirecTV Now’s “Just Right” tier contained a vMVPD-leading 85% of the channels most desired by consumers.