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AT&T Plans to Move All DirecTV Subscribers to Their New Streaming Service


130225_DirectTVdvr_0115bigAT&T recently purchased DirecTV and is moving quickly to take advantage of the name and contracts. Sometime this year AT&T plans to release a new streaming service called DirecTV NOW. They also announced that the AT&T U-verse TV service is going to start moving subscribers over to DirecTV.

Now word is coming from AT&T that they want most DirecTV subscribers to be moved over to the new streaming service in the next 3 to 5 years.

This likely has less to do with AT&T seeing the future of TV as cord cutting and more to do with it being less expensive to stream content than it is to run DirecTV. No longer do you need an army of employees installing and repairing equipment. There are no satellites to maintain and no boxes to manage.

This could be a mixed bag for cord cutters. The hope for cord cutters is that DirecTV subscribers will see how easy streaming is and make the jump to a true cord-cutting option. The bad news for cord cutters is this is one more sign that DirecTV NOW will be less about cord cutting and more about just copying the current DirecTV model online.

This move does raise questions about the future of TV for rural users who struggle to access high-speed Internet and use satellite for TV access. Hopefully if AT&T plans to shut down DirecTV’s current service in the next 3 to 5 years they have a plan for people who cannot access high-speed Internet.

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  • leftwingnuthunter

    I have had Directv since 1997 and I see the logic of this move. However, there is always going to be rural areas that have crappy internet that the dish system is always going to be the best solution. I’m not even talking about Wyoming, but areas just outside of mid-sized cities. I know of a couple of friends who have this issue. So until they fix that, this will take longer then 3-5 years.

    • stetsonaw

      Yep! My in-laws live between major cities (salutes) and have DSL as their only option for internet (besides Hughesnet, which I don’t consider an option). But I see this move making sense, as one of the main reasons I dropped DirecTV back in the day was because of the unreliability during severe weather or even really cloudy days (at times).

      • Frank Robinson

        I’m in rural Central Florida and opted for HughesNet satellite (10 GB data cap) to spell my highly unreliable 3G DSL (CenturyLink). To ensure 365 24/7 internet coverage (barring a hurricane or tropical storm) I pay about $1,420 + tax / fees annually. Even with a paltry 3MB (I had a 4.4MB download signal but CenturyLink actually throttled me), streaming is pretty reliable. Definitely getting the shaft, performance versus cost, but that’s the tradeoff for having your country farm and keeping one foot in the world.

  • Ryan Taylor

    My contract is up next year and att can kiss my A$$ I’m going Dish are even Cable att is going to mess everything up you just watch

  • Michael Rhoden

    We have AT&T DSL…6MB that rarely gets to 5MB…It is our ONLY choice. You could say Satellite internet, sure But, come on…is that a choice..really?
    We had Dish and Direct for years but our budget is getting tight now and we went to Playstation VUE..which works beautifully…as long as no one else is doing anything on the network…
    It’s depressing…cable stops two miles from our home as does Uverse. We live in the county and it seems that all Google Fiber or AT&T Fiber care about is the city dwellers themselves and businesses…thats it. Those of use that live in the county that have NO choice in the matter of Broadband…no competition..are forgotten. Its infuriating and frustrating and all I hear is excuses.

    • joshpennington

      I’m sort of in the same boat as you except my internet tops out at 3MB and the cable stops 2500 feet from my house. Satellite TV is my only option at all (no real OTA channels in my area). If AT&T does this will I have to seriously consider selling my house and moving. No internet and no TV is a deal breaker for me. I am not even that rural!

      • Tim

        I don’t know much about lately it but have you researched HughesNet for your internet? I know it used to be a pretty expensive alternative for the speed/performance but it has been years since I’ve researched it.

        • joshpennington

          I researched and it and it is still expensive, unreliable and you have a perilously low data cap (10 GB). I think getting a mobile hot spot from AT&T would be a better option.

      • Andrew Markham

        While I get it’s frustrating you chose to live in the middle of no where and the cost associated with running new fiber-optic infrastructure to pick up the very few who would utilize it is too great. For sake of actual numbers let’s say it would cost $20,000 to get fiber optic lines to your house. Are you willing to pay what it would take per month to make that a profitable endeavor? Probably not considering you’d prob have to be on a 20 year contract.

    • Joel C. Payne

      Verizon is the opposite. No FiOS in inner city only jokers Comcast.

  • crazywater

    Unless they match the price point of services like Sling TV or PS Vue its a non-starter for me.

  • P.Z.R.

    DirecTV needs to at minimum rival PlayStation Vue in price and package offerings. DTV Now will also have to offer apps over all platforms, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox, Mobile Chromecast & Roku.

    Then if they can add their 4K channels & offerings to the DirecTV Now apps then its a true game changer & really compete for my hard earn cash that is currently going to a couple services I sow together through apps & with a TV tuner to get a solid channel coverage.

  • A logical long term move for AT&T. Looks like they’re not going head to head with comcast and their cable box technology.

  • Jonathan Hayes

    ATT is working on gigabit over power line.

    • Steven Richards

      If that malfunctions, does that send 120 volts through my computer’s Ethernet port.

  • Cenarl

    rural customers will probably be expected to pay for 5g home internet. But have to sign up for at&t phone/TV/internet to get zero data rated TV.

  • DGB23

    And that is why I left DirecTV when ATT bought them. I can’t stand ATT. This deal should never have been allowed to happen, it takes a Satellite company away and replaces it with more of the same cable thieves. ATT doesn’t care about Satellite, they care about profit. They will use existing infrastructure to force people to DTV Now and when they have enough subscribers they will end the SAT. Offering. Why replace or upgrade sattelites when you can just force everyone to your other devices.

    • Carrie F

      Ok you are right i been with directv when they start and no i doint like A T&T either so I better start to look at other

  • hitdog042

    this article is total BS and made up. Just an FYI

    • Ellwood Howard

      U prove it

      • hitdog042

        Well. It never happened. So there’s your proof dumbass.

        • Ellwood Howard

          Intelligence…a foreign concept to you.

          • hitdog042

            Please don’t talk about intelligence when you actually believed this article was real. Yikes.

  • ljhcnmt

    My sister can’t get anything but satellite internet. $100 a month for 250 MB every 24 hour rolling period. She can’t even do view on demand. She also can’t get DSL or cable anything. I guess DISH will just get those millions and millions of rural subscribers all to itself. I think the cable and internet companies tend to think there are very few people out there who can’t stream, but that’s a fallacy. I would say at least half the population of the US is not in cable or DSL territory, and most DSL customers can’t stream. Look at the Great Plains. Appalachia. The northern third of California, where there isn’t even phone service in some areas. It’s a shame that China has a better phone and internet structure than we do. Of course, there’s more money to be made if you never spend anything on upgrading the infrastructure and just rake in profit off stuff that was paid for 30-50 years ago.

  • Ellwood Howard

    We live in rural Nevada. Or only high speed choice is AT&T internet 18 Meg or slower. We have 18. It rarely goes over 10 or 12 and cuts out several times a day. Satellite is the only tv option. We are supposed to be able to stream hd, but it always buffers and says cannot playback at this time. $161 in combined services. What a joke. With such poor internet we can’t cut the cord (or satellite).