The merger between AT&T and Time Warner hasn’t been completed yet because both companies are facing pushback from the U.S. Department of Justice. Some regulators believe the deal gives too much power to a single entity, allowing it to create and distribute content on too many platforms. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson took the stand this week, and while he was there to defend the merger, an upcoming live TV streaming service was revealed in the process.
AT&T Watch is set to be introduced as a bundle of channels that excludes any focused on sports. Coming in at $15 per month, the service would feature channels ranging from lifestyle to reality to drama and comedy programming.
AT&T didn’t say when it’ll launch, but we have to assume it’s not far off.
The service would be the cheapest among the top brands with a live TV streaming service. It’s even more affordable than Philo, another sports-free offering that costs $16 per month.
It’s probably safe to assume Time Warner’s Turner will have its channels on AT&T Watch. That means subscribers would get access to TNT, TBS, CNN, and TruTV. Other channels should come from Viacom and Discovery. AT&T, however, did not lay out details on the lineup during Stephenson’s testimony.
AT&T would still face stiff competition from video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, which are less expensive. There’s also some risk in rolling out AT&T Watch when the company owns and operates DirecTV Now. Consumers know DirecTV Now as a live TV streaming service, and adding another option under different branding could confuse customers.
When it’s available, we’re interested to see how AT&T Watch is pitched. DirecTV Now surpassed 1 million subscribers late last year. Momentum on its side would have you think AT&T would continue fueling its growth, but now we wait and see how AT&T Watch changes the strategy.