AT&T’s soon-to-launch virtual-MVPD service, DirecTV Now, will become the company’s dominant video service in the next three to five years, usurping both AT&T U-verse and the DirecTV satellite service.
So reports Bloomberg, citing sources close to the development of the V-MVPD service.
The bold behind-the-scenes predictions came this week as AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told a Goldman Sachs investor conference in New York that the service is still on track to launch by the end of this year with more than 100 channels, initially targeting the 20 million or so Americans who don’t pony up for pay-TV.
Based on the comments, however, DirecTV’s goals for the streaming service are broader than that.
“This is exclusively an over-the-top product,” Stephenson said. “This is no set-top box; this is no truck roll; this is a customer pulling down an app, getting a very robust platform.”
AT&T has quickly amassed programming deals for DirecTV Now, as well as its upcoming mobile programming initiative, Freeview.
This week, the company announced expanded carriage agreements with Turner Networks and Scripps Networks Interactive that offer the necessary live-streaming rights. These pacts followed similar deals with NBCUniversal, Disney, Discovery Networks and HBO.
To yield a true linear pay-TV replacement bundle, AT&T still needs to lock up CBS Corp. and 21st Century Fox deals, as well as Viacom and AMC Networks, if its business model is so inclined.
- read this Bloomberg story
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