AT&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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