DirecTV’s new multiscreen app a good harbinger for live-streaming service, analyst says

Image: DirecTV

Sampling AT&T’s newly upgraded DirecTV multiscreen app on an iPad at CTIA this week, Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche came away “extremely impressed,” and said she believes the improved user experience bodes well for AT&T’s upcoming launch of live-streaming service DirecTV Now. 

“The load time, quality of the video and content selection were all better than our expectations,” Fritzsche said in a note to investors this morning. “While we do not know what the DTV Now (the high end wireless OTT plan coming in Q4) product will look like, if it is similar to what we saw today, we believe it will gain much traction when officially launched in Q4.”

Fritzche also noted that AT&T “has virtually all channels outside the home and stacking rights to many of the current season episodes. DTV subscribers also have access to content on their home DVRs from any device. Recall, the DTV Now product is not limited to AT&T wireless subscribers – this will be a product available to all wireless users. That said, we believe AT&T will offer incentive to its own wireless users (like the pricing announcement we saw yesterday) and could use the iPhone 7 launch later this month to help with this push.”

The launch of the DirecTV service is highly anticipated in the pay-TV industry, with Dish Network’s Sling TV quickly carving out a sizable customer base of more than 760,000 subscribers, according to recent estimates.

Earlier this week, AT&T announced another major programming deal for its upcoming virtual platform, securing Discovery Communications channels in a broad-reaching carriage renewal deal. 

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