According to MoffettNathanson, AT&T is shifting its focus over to AT&T TV, its new live TV streaming service that comes with a two-year contract, fees, and other cable TV-like traps. In a letter sent to investors, MoffettNathanson said AT&T “is essentially exiting the business” of AT&T TV NOW. According to the Broadcasting Cable publication, this would mean AT&T TV NOW would join “PlayStation Vue in the streaming TV graveyard.”
This does lineup well with reports that AT&T will be moving live TV streaming of the kind offered by AT&T TV NOW into HBO MAX in 2020. There have even been reports from employees that AT&T Watch TV, its cheap discount TV service will be shutting down now that it is no longer bundled with new AT&T Unlimited plans.
During its 2nd quarter earnings call, AT&T confirmed that HBO Max will include live TV. AT&T says live sports and news will be part of AT&T TV. This seems to confirm reports that DIRECTV NOW will merge into HBO Max. It has been reported that HBO Max will be like Hulu, starting with a cheaper on-demand only version and a more expensive package that will include live TV.
This all lines up well with what AT&T’s CEO reportedly told CNBC during an interview earlier this year:
“In addition, AT&T eventually plans to merge its DIRECTV NOW (now called AT&T TV NOW) service with its WarnerMedia streaming service (now called HBO MAX), giving customers a more robust TV offering than anything on the market, the people said. A combined product with a common search and user interface — which, like the standalone streaming service, could also come bundled at a discount with an AT&T wireless subscription — would give customers access to live pay-TV streaming channels and Warner’s library and originals, all in the same ecosystem.”
The question now is will we see AT&T TV NOW’s plans to merge into HBO MAX? This would explain CNBC’s report of everything in a common user interface. Or will AT&T TV NOW customers need to re-sign up for a TV package from HBO MAX?
Recently AT&T’s president of entertainment did announce that AT&T TV NOW is no longer the main focus for AT&T. Instead, AT&T has announced that the new AT&T TV and HBO MAX is now the main focus of the company’s TV efforts. So exactly what that means for the future of AT&T TV NOW is unknown but MoffetNathanson seems to think the service’s days are numbered.
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