AT&T to stream DirecTV Now into Uber vehicles


AT&T is planning to incorporate its soon-to-be-launched linear OTT service, DirecTV Now, into hotspot-equipped Uber vehicles in 11 markets this fall. It’s part of a promotional program the service provider is running in tandem with the ride service, targeting college football fans.

In each market, 20 Uber vehicles will have a tablet connected to a mobile hotspot that streams football games to riders as they’re transported to their destination. The service is complementary and runs for about six weeks. The first city to see the Uber-DirecTV fleet in action will be Orlando, during its college football game this weekend, followed by Columbus, Ohio, and San Francisco on Sept. 17.

The catch? DirecTV Now doesn’t launch until “late 2016,” meaning that for more than half of the promotional dates, riders will be watching live games from the another source, such as the DirecTV or U-verse TV Everywhere apps.

DirecTV Now will provide “additional programming” to the existing content available on the Samsung tablets being used.

The promotion will take place from Sept. 10 until Oct. 15, and will be revived on Dec. 3 for the SEC Championship in Atlanta and again on Jan. 7 for the College Football National Championship in Tampa, Florida.

While AT&T has not yet given an official launch date for DirecTV Now, the latest announcement provides a little more guidance on a timeline the provider is aiming for, and suggests that it will be a pure-play OTT service offering more content options and channels, similar to Dish Network-owned Sling TV.

AT&T is clearly putting together a competitive lineup for the linear OTT service as well: last week, the provider announced a licensing deal with HBO that makes the premium network’s content available on all U-verse and DirecTV platforms.

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