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DirecTV Now Debuts, Reveals Full Channel Lineups

AT&T on Wednesday launched the DirecTV Now subscription internet-TV service, providing the full lineups of channels available in each of its four bundles.

In all, DirecTV Now offers up to 130 channels in its top-tier package, although live local channels from ABC, NBC, Fox and Telemundo are available in only a few markets. CBS is currently not available, though AT&T says it’s currently pursuing a deal to include CBS and Showtime.

The bundles start at $35 monthly for the “Live a Little” package with 64 channels (plus local stations where available). Analysts say the entry-level package is likely to be the most popular with cord-cutters — and it’s a programming lineup that AT&T will be offering at negative net margin, according to Wall Street observers.

Subscribers can add HBO and Cinemax for a limited-time promo price of $5 each to any DirecTV Now package. In addition, regional sports networks including those from Comcast SportsNet, Fox Sports Networks, YES Network are available in only specific markets (and only in the $50-per-month or higher tiers).

AT&T also is offering a special, limited-time introductory price of $35 per month for the “Go Big” package with 109 channels plus locals where available; that will normally be $60 per month. Users can sign up at directvnow.com.

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Local channels on DirecTV Now are available for only select markets from ABC, NBC, Fox and Telemundo, where the broadcasters have owned-and-operated stations. ABC’s live stream is not available on Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7, while NBC’s live stream is available on mobile and desktop devices only.

  • ABC: Chicago, Fresno, Houston, L.A., New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Raleigh-Durham
  • NBC: Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, Hartford-New Haven, L.A., Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Washington, D.C.
  • Fox: Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Detroit, Gainesville, L.A., Minneapolis, New York, Orlando-Daytona, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Tamp-St. Petersburg, Washington, D.C.
  • Telemundo East: Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver, Fresno, Houston, Las Vegas, L.A., Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix

According to AT&T, where it does not offer local broadcast channels, it provides day-after-air primetime shows on-demand.

Here are the cable channels available in each tier:

  • Live a Little ($35/month): A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, Audience Network, AXS TV, Baby First, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg TV, Bravo, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Crime & Investigation, Discovery, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, Freeform, FX, FXX, Galavision, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HGTV, History, HLN, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, National Geographic Channel, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, Pursuit Channel, RFD-TV, Spike, Syfy, TBS, TCM, TeenNick, TLC, TNT, truTV, TV Land, Univision, USA Network, Velocity, VH1, Viceland, WE tv, WeatherNation
  • Just Right ($50/month): Everything in “Live a Little” (except Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) plus Big Ten Network, CNBC World, Comedy TV, Cooking Channel, ESPNews, ESPNU, Fuse, Fusion, GSN, IFC, LMN, MLB Network, NBC Sports Network, Nicktoons, OWN, Science, SEC Network, Travel Channel, UniMás, Weather Channel, WGN America
  • Go Big ($60/month, limited-time offer of $35/month): Everything in “Just Right” plus American Heroes, BBC World News, Centric, Destination America, Discovery Family Channel, Discovery Life, DIY Network, FM, Fox Sports 2, FX Movie Channel, fyi, Golf Channel, Great American Country, Logo, MTV Classic, Nat Geo Wild, NBA TV, NBC Universo, NHL Network, Oxygen, Revolt, Sprout, SundanceTV, Tennis Channel, TVG
  • Gotta Have It ($70/month): Everything in “Go Big” plus Boomerang, Chiller, Cloo, El Rey Network, Justice Central, eight Starz Encore channels (Action, Black, East, Family, Classic, Suspense, West, Westerns), Univision Deportes Network

DirecTV Now initially is available to stream on Apple TV (fourth generation), Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick TV, Google Chromecast, iPad and iPhone, Android 4.4 and later, and Internet Explorer 11 (on Windows 8 and later), Chrome version 50 and later, and Safari 8 and later.

The service is limited to two simultaneous streams per account, which AT&T said is to ensure it delivers the best quality to devices in the home. AT&T recommends DirecTV Now customers have broadband connection speeds of 2.5 to 5 Mbps per stream for HD quality, while it recommends 150 Kbps to 2.5 Mbps broadband connection speeds for mobile devices.

The service also offers more than 15,000 TV episodes and movies on-demand. DirecTV Now does not include DVR functions, which are slated to be introduced in 2017, but it does include a 72-hour “catch-up” VOD feature for programming on many channels.

DirecTV Now is available in the U.S., but not in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Users will be unable to access the service outside the United States.

Current AT&T U-verse and DirecTV satellite customers can sign up for DirecTV Now, billed as a separate service. As an incentive for AT&T wireless customers, the telco will not count DirecTV Now streaming video toward monthly data usage (an industry practice known as “zero-rating”).

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