AT&T is giving away free Apple TVs and Amazon Fire TV Sticks with its new streaming TV service, DirecTV Now.
DirecTV’s new service comes in several packages, starting at 60 channels for $35 per month, and going up to a $70 per month package with 120 channels, , the company announced on Monday.
Currently, DirecTV is offering a 100 channel tier for $35 per month, although it said that offer is available for a limited time.
Make no mistake: This is a monster giveaway.
Users who pay ahead of time for three months of DirecTV Now can receive the latest Apple TV for free, which retails for $149.
AT&T will also give away an Amazon Fire TV Stick for free if customers pay for 1 month of DirecTV Now, AT&T said in a press release.
DirecTV Now’s least expensive package is only $35 a month, which means AT&T is asking for just a $105 commitment. An Apple TV alone costs $150 at retail. And if you don’t want to commit to three months of DirecTV Now, you can sign up for one month ($35) and get a free Amazon Fire TV Stick. That would cost you about $40 at retail.
AT&T made waves in the industry earlier this year when it announced that DirecTV Now would provide more than 100 channels for a mere $35 a month, undercutting many rivals on price. (Wall Street was expecting it to cost about $50 a month, according to analysts at Macquarie.)
AT&T says it will be able to make the economics work at that price in part by cutting out legacy equipment like satellite dishes. DirecTV Now will be delivered over the internet, eliminating the need for cable or satellite but, to watch it on a TV, requiring a streaming box (like an Apple TV) or a smart TV.
Not everyone, however, has a streaming box ready to go. With this promotion, it seems as if AT&T is trying to bridge the “streaming gap” for customers by simply giving them a free streaming box.
The best channels
DirecTV now will have a lot of commonly-requested channels. AT&T has already signed deals with HBO, Discovery, NBCUniversal, Turner, Viacom, Disney, AMC, Scripps, Starz, and more. So it seems as if all the big guns will be signed up for launch, except for CBS, which will not be included.. HBO will cost an additional $5 per month.
The company has not yet revealed which channels are in which packages.
Another major advantage to DirecTV Now is that it will have a “72-hour catch-up window,” according to Variety, which will let you watch shows on-demand for three days after they air. But there may be limitations on this feature – ESPN isn’t on that catch-up list, for instance. DirecTV Now will also have an on-demand library of “up to 14,000 titles,” according to Variety.
For those who don’t want to start paying before testing it out, DirecTV Now will let you have a seven-day free trial, AT&T said on Monday.
The future is streaming
AT&T has big plans for DirecTV Now and thinks it will be the company’s primary TV platform by 2020, according to Bloomberg.
In the immediate time period, a recent report from MoffettNathanson estimated that DirecTV Now could snag 11 million subscribers.
Here’s the potential breakdown: 2 million cannibalized from DirecTV, 6 million from other pay TV, and 3 million “cord-cutters.”
The 2 million subscribers transferred from DirecTV’s traditional packages would be of concern to AT&T. Eleven million is a huge number, however, especially considering Sling TV is the market leader after only recently reaching 1 million subscribers, according to Bloomberg.
If you’re ready to cut the cord, DirecTV is offering a 100 channel tier for $35 per month, although it said that offer is available for a limited time. But if you sign up now, you can have the deal grandfathered, the company said on Monday.
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