A new report suggests that AT&T intends to have its upcoming streaming TV offering become its primary video platform by 2020, supplanting existing DirecTV satellite service. AT&T plans to launch three different streaming TV services under the DirecTV Now brand later this year in an attempt to tackle the cord cutting revolution head on. AT&T confirmed this week all three serviced would not count against AT&T usage caps. Originally, reports suggested that AT&T planned to price the service to “funnel” or upsell users to DirecTV satellite TV service.
But Bloomberg now claims that AT&T intends to ultimately have the streaming TV service be its primary TV platform:
AT&T Inc.’s online streaming TV service, DirecTV Now, will become the company s primary video platform in three to five years, according to people familiar with the plans…Initially, DirecTV Now will be aimed at budget-minded consumers, and will stream free for AT&T wireless subscribers. The price of the service has yet to be finalized.
AT&T has made it clear it ultimately intends to shutter its existing U-Verse TV service, and utilize the freed up bandwidth for broadband services. The company has been directing all new TV customers to its DirecTV service. The company also confirmed to DSLReports.com that it has begun slowly but surely phazing out the U-Verse brand entirely.
Historically most ISPs that launch streaming video services hamstring and cripple the service on either functionality or price to prevent cannibalizing their existing legacy TV customers. It should prove curious to see just how AT&T, which has been facing a consistent quarterly loss of pay TV subscribers, plans to tackle this conundrum.