When SlingTV debuted at CES a few years ago, I sat in the opening keynote and realized the huge potential of a service like this if well-executed. Gone are the worst parts of a cable subscription like expensive hardware, installation fees, notoriously bad customer support and complicated long-term commitments.
Since its launch, SlingTV has done well though it still hasn't revolutionized the traditional cable industry like many thought it might. While we are headed towards this, the transition has been slower than expected with traditional cable and satellite providers doing everything they can to keep their customers from cutting the cord.
AT&T who also owns DirecTV has had plans to launch a competitor to SlingTV (which rival DISH owns), and the company has announced this will go live this Wednesday, November 30th.
Dubbed ‘DirecTV Now' the streaming plans start at $35 a month which includes access to 60+ channels and go all the way up to $70 a month for 120+ channels. For those looking to add premium networks like HBO and Cinemax, these will be offered for an additional $5 each.
AT&T has also signed a partnership with Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon to offer exclusive content on the platform. Taylor's channel will include concert and behind-the-scenes footage whereas Witherspoon's content will include femme-centric programming in the form of movies and TV shows as well as an original series starring Reese.
The most exciting part of the DirecTV Now service launch is the promotions. According to the press release, customers who sign up and pre-pay for a month will receive an Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote. Those who are willing to pre-pay for three months in advance will receive an Apple TV.
Stay tuned for a full review of the service which should go live by the end of the year.