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DirecTV Now Will NOT Have Skinny Bundles


130225_DirectTVdvr_0115bigDirecTV Now is AT&T’s plan to take on Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. Yet it seems AT&T is going to take a very different approach to their DirecTV Now service.

DirecTV Now will offer more than 100 channels of live and on demand programming, targeted at younger viewers. But at the Next TV Summit here Wednesday (Oct. 20) at the NYC Television & Video Week, Goncalves  the Entertainment Group senior vice presendent at AT&T said while skinny bundles may work for niche offerings, that’s not the case for a broader service like DirecTV Now.

“In a scaled business, addressing the economic requirement that reach the most customers would require the need to cast a rather wide net,” Goncalves said in the fireside chat with Next TV editor and Multichannel News Technology editor Jeff Baumgartner. “You would need multiple skinny bundles to appeal to enough audience to get a scaled product. Our opinion is much of what is called skinny bundles evolve into something bigger. I’m not sure OTT is the driver of that.”

So what does that mean? Well that likely means you will pay the same price for their DirecTV Now service as you would with DirecTV. Or maybe just slightly lower to reflect the lower cost of a streaming service.

“Consumers aren’t telling us they want less content, they want more flexibility and seamless way of engaging with that content,” Goncalves said, adding that although the company has a great relationship with its programming partners, there is still a ways to go, but is confident DirecTV Now will get there.

“I don’t believe there is another OTT approach that gives the programming community the opportunity we’re putting in front of them,” Goncalves said.

Well many may have been excited by the idea of DirecTV Now it seems they may be making a fatal mistake. Just putting something online does not make it a cord cutting option.

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  • Matt

    “Consumers aren’t telling us they want less content”

    Don’t know what consumers this guy is talking about but everyone I know is tired of paying for channels they have no use for.

    • Justice Dean

      I read that and nearly fell out of my chair. I want like 6 channels. I don’t want to pay fifty fricken dollars for a bunch of crap that I spend more time hating that it spaces out my favorites so much than actually watch it.

      They will continue to be beaten by sling unless a cloud DVR is included with the device. If they do that they can at least make a play for people’s money.

      ATT is such a joke the name illicits a physical response of laughing mockery or skin crawling disgust.

  • Jack Astor

    The Death of Cable Networks and Satellite can not come fast enough.

  • Josiah Fernandez

    This might work if the promotional prices they love to tout become the flat prices…but who am I kidding, why do that when you can charge people just as much without having to send someone to set up equipment.

    • Carol Benedict

      So true and if you don’t have AT&T internet and have a data cap which many do this would be a terrible option it is not meant to appeal to cord cutters it’s meant to drive down their overhead. Really no one wants a 100 channels

  • Don K

    This is doomed to failure! If it costs the same as DirecTV satellite, then what’s the point?

    • Scott Lewis

      That’s a big if. Most speculation has it costing less than satellite, because it’s cheaper to do video over IP. They will have to maintain the satellites for years to come (legacy customers) either way, but there’s plenty of cost savings.

      When they no longer have to engineer, manufacture, ship, and pay a sub-contractor to install a dish plus some collection of receivers, the cost to acquire and service a customer goes way down.

      Also they don’t even have to make apps from scratch, since they already have apps that stream and access On Demand, they’ll just be negotiating rights to ALL content being streamable, not SOME content like today. Probably have to develop a Cloud DVR service, which still beats being in the consumer hardware space.

      • Don K

        What you say may be true but that doesn’t mean that those savings will be passed on to the consumer. Everyone’s situation is different, but I for one didn’t cut the cord to save a few bucks, I did it to save a lot. I have no need for a OTT version of the bundled cable that I used to have, especially if it costs the same or even if it’s a little less.

        We haven’t missed our cable a bit. We watch much less TV and do more things together as a family, and that’s a good thing IMO. If it weren’t for live sports (go TRIBE!), I might even consider dropping Sling too.

        • Scott Lewis

          My point isn’t that you miss cable and don’t know it. I get that. There are tons of legitimate cord cutters with no regrets. But the savings will be passed on. I say that because DirecTV is on record as saying that. And the competing services have attractive price points as competition (Sling, Vue). And YouTube announced they are entering the market, plus Apple always looms in the background as a potential competitor. They won’t charge $120 for 100 channels because they already know they can’t. And already promised they wouldn’t.

          But yeah, it won’t necessarily entice you specifically. 🙂

        • Ben M

          I agree with you. When has a corporation ever passed savings on to the consumer? I cut the cord to save money AND quit the trap they have us in of paying to watch commercials. I now subscribe to Netflix, Acorn TV, Hulu and Amazon Prime (which is a great value for everything you get). I also have an antenna for local stations. With those choices I have more content than I can watch and save $50 a month over what I a was paying Dish. None of the cable packages offered (Sling, PS Vue, etc.) appeal to me because I refuse to pay for the privilege of watching commercials.

  • Robert Beier

    I’ll reserve judgement until we actually know the pricing and more details, like DVR options, etc. For me, this would be a great way to get away from contracts and save about $50 a month while getting my wife to move in the direction of more OTT services. I tried to get her to look at Playstation VUE, but she didn’t really take to it.

    • Justice Dean

      We tried view to and my wife couldn’t get over the poor UI, poor picture quality/frame rate. We tried it on ps3 which was an awful quality experiance. Ps4 looked better and better frame rate… Didn’t try my Amazon stick or chromecast but it wasn’t with it at that point.

      Tried it for 2 days and gave up.

      • Robert Beier

        I didn’t have any real issues with the picture quality, but the UI was definitely slow. I did see some improvements near the end of my testing, but the UI does need some work. My biggest concern was not being able to ‘delete’ or hide watched recorded shows. My wife will marathon some stuff and with 40 episodes of Law & Order to get through it could be a bit overwhelming.

  • Justice Dean

    They only thing ATT us getting in front of by launching this and keeping it at a bloated offering/price is the Mac truck of consumer indifference.

    They expect people to blow their data caps and still pay the same. Bull crap.

    Unless they are an originator of full time 4k HDR TV channels delivered online they will go no where with this product.

  • Gerry Allen

    This claim about folks wanting more not fewer channels shows that the cable/satellite tv people live on another planet. Sling appears to have a start on the process, but what folks really want is ala carte. The forced bundling of channels is a business model from content providers having nothing to do with market demand. When you are a monopoly, as most cable companies are in most locations, you need not pay attention to market demands — you are the market. So, the usual baloney from companies who have no clue about how to compete.

    • FigaroPho

      The problem is that ala carte is FAR more expensive per channel and people always watch more channels than they think they do. Maybe someone who lives alone and has very narrow interests only watches 4-6 channels but, for most families, that tiny number is totally inadequate.

  • Ryan Taylor

    Yeah my contract is up next June and good bye AT&T I pay 145 a month for shi&ty internet and shi&ty cable service and I’m on the choice plan I’m going back to my local cable company faster internet and better plans and better prices

  • AMC4x4

    It’s like when the Verizon CEO essentially said customers like the phone subsidies to be hidden in their overall bill. Then six months later was forced to over separate installment plan for phones.