AT&T TV Cities Now Listed on ATT Site

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by DirectMan, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Aug 23, 2019 #61 of 130
    NashGuy

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    That's only true IF they require all TV-screen viewing to occur through the AT&T TV client. I don't think anyone has confirmed yet if that is true. I don't this that it is, or at least will be true by the time AT&T TV rolls out nationwide.

    My read is that AT&T TV sees their client streaming box as a big differentiating feature of the service. They're proud of it, they're going to heavily feature it in their marketing. And I'm sure AT&T would like for folks to buy additional units too because, if they keep the price on it at $120 each, they're making a fat margin on that box. But just because we haven't yet heard AT&T specifically confirm that AT&T TV customers can watch the service on Roku, Apple TV, or Fire TV doesn't mean it's not true. From a marketing communications perspective, I think they don't want to muddy the message that their own box is a key part of the user experience.

    But here's the thing: I just downloaded an app on my Apple TV 4K box. The name of the app is "AT&T TV". If it can absolutely ONLY be used with AT&T TV Now but NOT with AT&T TV, then why is it named "AT&T TV"? Why isn't it named "AT&T TV Now"? On the info screen in the Apple TV App Store, it specifically says that this app is for both the "AT&T TV and the AT&T TV Now experience". Here's the login screen after installing the app: IMG_20190823_171201.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  2. Aug 23, 2019 #62 of 130
    mjwagner

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    I was honestly hoping that this offering was going to be compelling. The more clear the details become, both technical and pricing, the less compelling it is IMO. Seems to me whoever is in charge of this part of AT&Ts business has very little understanding of where this segment is headed. I hope I’m wrong.
     
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  3. Aug 24, 2019 #63 of 130
    lparsons21

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    Nothing about them is compelling, just the normal sat TV lineups delivered a different way at about the same price. But no new customer deals involved. They are literally the same product that people are dropping like flies!
    While I may prefer linear TV and my current cost is within what I consider the reasonable range, the writing is on the wall that all of that is going to change. What is still up in the air is whether or not the various streaming providers will find a product to sell at a price that attracts lots of customers and is profitable for them. So far all I’ve read is that they are losing money and you know that isn’t going to continue.
    I keep looking at all the channels I actually do watch and have noticed that other than broadcast channels, I don’t watch more than 1-3 shows a week on any of them. Maybe its time for the ‘watch paint dry’ channel to finally shut down!!


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  4. Aug 24, 2019 #64 of 130
    NashGuy

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    I really think this would work:
    • Plus package including HBO Max: $60/mo -- locals + most popular cable channels incl. sports and news
    • Max package including HBO Max: $80/mo -- everything in Plus, along with RSNs and additional sports channels, plus choice of one Extra Pack
    500 hours cloud DVR, 3 simultaneous streams included, at least 1 free AT&T TV streaming box, you can use the AT&T TV app on any other devices for any and all viewing. Includes 4K HDR for same content as DirecTV offers for no additional charge.

    No extra/hidden charges for broadcast channels, RSNs, etc. All prices are everyday standard prices, charged from first month. No up-front promo pricing. Need more than 3 streams at home? Pay an upgrade fee ($7/mo) to get unlimited simultaneous streams on your home network (still a limit of 3 streams outside of it).

    Requires 1-year contract, which gets you either 2 free streaming boxes or 1 free box + $40 Visa gift card. Additional boxes can be purchased for $120, either lump-sum or in 12 monthly payments of $10 each.

    Bundle in with AT&T Internet/Fiber to get an ongoing $10/mo discount (bringing Plus and Max down to $50 and $70, same as on the contract-free AT&T TV Now), plus a waiver of your broadband data cap.

    Plus and Max packages would contain the channels they currently do on AT&T TV Now except Plus also gets A&E, AMC, BBC America, History and Lifetime. Max gets those plus IFC and Viceland too. Virtually all non-premium English-language cable channels currently offered on DirecTV that are not in Plus or Max are available inside one or more Extra Packs for $7.50/mo each: Discovery, Sports, Entertainment, Family.

    Such a set-up would be very compelling for folks getting AT&T Internet/Fiber.

    For everyone else, for the money, the Plus package would beat both YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV if you value HBO Max more than you value sports (especially RSNs). But if you don't care much about HBO Max, either YTTV or HwLT would probably be a better value. For those who love sports and also want HBO Max, the AT&T TV Max package might be the best choice.

    I don't think such a system is unrealistically low priced. Knowing what I do about how much major operators pay for each of the cable networks, I think AT&T TV could offer the plans above at those prices and still make a satisfactory profit margin. And they'd have a product that could credibly compete in the nationwide marketplace.
     
  5. Aug 27, 2019 #65 of 130
    Rich

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    We used to have 10 TV sets in the house. Now we have 7. Can't imagine having more than 4 sets being viewed at one time. And 4 would be a rarity.

    Rich
     
  6. Aug 27, 2019 #66 of 130
    Rich

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    I don't think you're wrong. They've done nothing but botch up D*. And they'll screw this up too.

    Rich
     
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  7. Aug 27, 2019 #67 of 130
    lparsons21

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    Nashguy - You’re last post was interesting. For those wanting a cable/sat-alike subscription service, you may be right or close anyway. But I don’t think that’s where streaming is headed.
    I think more like Disney’s upcoming offering, CBS All Access, NBC/Universal and so forth will be the ones to survive quite well. Of course they will twiddle the how over time. Note none of them have a contract of any sort beyond a month at a time.
    Personally I think the day of longer term contracts for video are over or soon will be. Cable/sat is currently dying and some cable companies are doing away with commitments right now. ATT’s proposed service with a commitment period attached is a non-starter as no contract is one of the biggest selling points of streaming. Sign up, binge a few shows, cancel. All done online and simply. No calling in to cancel and listening to some drone making a half hearted sales pitch, no issues with misunderstanding because of language/accent barriers, just a click of the mouse/trackpad.
    Yeah, managing subscriptions will be a bit of a PITA, but really not daunting going forward IMO.


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  8. Aug 27, 2019 #68 of 130
    Rich

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    Yup, I think that's just about what's gonna happen. And watching TV will become a lot simpler. This is a good thing.

    Rich
     
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  9. Aug 27, 2019 #69 of 130
    lparsons21

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    Managing the costs will be simpler, managing the subscriptions will be something you have to actively do. Of course with the ‘skinny’ bundles of channels in each, the monthly cost won’t be so high and even if your forget to cancel one month the loss won’t be so high.

    A number of years ago managing subs via ‘click’ would have been considered a bigger pain, but these days most people are already using their phones/tablets/computers enough that it isn’t today. They are also used to the different UI’s in the various apps they use, so the fact that each streaming video service is different isn’t so daunting. Fortunately I think that cable/sat will stick around long enough to serve those too old and too non-technical to deal with.


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  10. Aug 27, 2019 #70 of 130
    Rich

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    As long as you remember (or document) where and how you activated a streaming app it's easy to dump them. Once you figure that out it's gonna be very inexpensive.

    Rich
     
  11. Aug 27, 2019 #71 of 130
    lparsons21

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    That was my point. Yes it is simple to sub/cancel but you have to come up with a simple way to remind yourself which are active and/or, when to cancel. Not horribly daunting but a bit of a PITA IMO. I’ll use something on my iPads/iPhone to do it when the time comes.




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  12. Aug 27, 2019 #72 of 130
    NashGuy

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    You guys are right in terms of where pay TV is headed *eventually*. But I think you two should also consider that you're not *average consumers* for people your age. You think about this sort of stuff a lot (as I do). You're willing to experiment with new technological paradigms. I can tell by the way that you both write that you easily have above average IQs (as do I).

    Cable TV is a big, broad industry that must appeal to the average consumer. Actually, it has to appeal to folks who are well below average in various ways.

    Yes, come the late 2020s, we'll have transitioned to a system in which everything, including live sports and news, is available via direct-to-consumer apps/services. But the powers-that-be understand that they must build a bridge from here to that far-flung future. They must be able to shepherd along the sheeple from where they are now (traditional cable and satellite TV, which still serves a majority of Americans) to where things are ultimately destined. Don't underestimate the degree to which many people want to retain the familiar experience of channel-based TV. And don't neglect the fact that a VERY key part of our TV landscape -- live sports -- remains accessible only via live linear channels.

    "Don't bore us, get to the chorus!" you yell. You're clever fellows who are skipping ahead to the end of the story, bored by all the pages that come before. Sorry. Those pages are necessary.

    Here are the broad strokes of how things will develop in the first half of the 2020s:
    • all the major content/network owners will launch their own contract-free direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming service
    • pay TV operators who don't own significant content -- Charter, Verizon, Cox, Altice, and everyone else who's name isn't AT&T or Comcast -- will drop out of the pay TV business, except for actual coaxial cable systems (e.g. Charter, Cox) who will still (for a few years) operate a skeleton QAM-based cable TV service (i.e. just locals, or locals + the most popular basic cable channels with no frills like DVR, on-demand, etc.)
    • the center of the TV entertainment universe will shift from linear channels to the various DTC on-demand services (e.g. Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, All Access, the upcoming NBCU SVOD, Prime Video, Apple TV+)
    • the main destination for free ad-supported TV will shift from local OTA TV to various no-cost streaming options (e.g. Pluto TV, Tubi, Vudu, CBSN, NewsOn, etc.)
    • live cable channel packages will be increasingly purchased as add-ons to the major DTC on-demand services: Hulu, HBO Max (AT&T TV), NBCU SVOD (Comcast OTT), ViacomCBS All Access, maybe Prime Video. These packages will be priced at barely above break-even but that won't matter since the real money will be in the base on-demand service which will be a pre-requisite to access the live cable channel bundle.
    Questions? Fire away.
     
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  13. Aug 27, 2019 #73 of 130
    TV_Guy

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    The 2 biggest draws for live tv are sports and news. I agree that Pluto TV, CBSN, NewsOn could go a long way to fill the news demand. But what about sports? Three of the 4 major sports have packages for streaming but the local teams are blacked out since the rights are held by RSNs in some case beyond the 2020's. Maybe the RSN's would sell their channels a la carte. But that means 2 purchases (league package and RSN) for each sport you want to follow.
     
  14. Aug 28, 2019 #74 of 130
    Rich

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    As things stand today sports and streaming are not what I want. I want to duplicate the D* experience. That's all I want. I know I can't do that today.

    Rich
     
  15. Aug 28, 2019 #75 of 130
    Rich

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    I see nothing to argue about. Good post.

    Rich
     
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  16. Aug 28, 2019 #76 of 130
    JoeTheDragon

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    cubs network $10.99 - $15.99 /mo (must buy full year) on it's own? or $5-$7/mo add on to an cable package?
     
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  17. Aug 28, 2019 #77 of 130
    NashGuy

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    Yessir. As I said "don't neglect the fact that a VERY key part of our TV landscape -- live sports -- remains accessible only via live linear channels." As long as that remains true, bundles of live cable channels ain't goin' nowhere.

    Live sports -- plus other live content, mainly local and national news/talk -- will be the last tentpoles holding up the cable channel system. The content owners -- Disney, NBCU, WarnerMedia, etc. -- will grow their DTC on-demand streaming services (e.g. Hulu, HBO Max, etc.) as the main places we go for everything *except* live sports and news/talk. (And even then, Gen X and younger viewers will increasingly get our news/talk outside of linear cable channels too, although Boomers and older will stick with Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, etc.)

    At some point, those media titans will allow each other to structure and sell truly skinny bundles of live channels that only include the stuff that anyone much actually wants cable for at that point -- locals affiliates of the big broadcast nets, plus all-news and all-sports channels. In fact, the head of Hulu even said last year that they're exploring offering something like that as an add-on to the base Hulu service. But I don't think Disney is quite yet ready to just sell their live ABC and ESPN channels, nor do I think that Comcast is yet ready to just sell their live NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and NBCSN channels. Fox, though, is ready to wheel and deal with anyone since all they have now is their broadcast net plus a few all-news and all-sports channels. CBS had been pretty much in the same boat -- just CBS, plus their tiny little CBS Sports Network and the new CBSN streaming news channel, along with tiny entertainment net Pop -- but now they're ViacomCBS. Not sure if they're willing to distribute just CBS, CBSSN and CBSN without also forcing Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, etc. into a base package.

    As for all those Fox RSNs, those now belong to Sinclair (the nation's largest owner of local network affiliate stations). And they also want to buy the 4 RSNs owned by AT&T too. Plus they're launching a new one that will be the exclusive home of Cubs baseball. It'll be very interesting to see what they do with those. Will they sell them DTC as standalone services in additional to distributing through traditional cable bundles? Or will they just stick with the latter and try to use their local stations as a bargaining chip in carriage negotiations?
     
  18. Aug 28, 2019 #78 of 130
    CTJon

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    Not saying that cost isn't important but if D* and other traditional TV services lowered their costs by 50% would people still go to streaming services if prices ended up the same?
    One of my issues is the simplicity of traditional service - I turn it on look through 1 guide find what I want and record or watch. I don't have to look through several services, each with a different interface, and try and remember what show is on which service. Ok I'm retired so there are times I'm just at home and thinking I'll watch tv and then have to find things.
    The question is it the service or the price?
     
  19. Aug 28, 2019 #79 of 130
    TV_Guy

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    Traditional service is no longer that simple. Not unusual for a sports overflow on Fox or ESPN to result in the game you want to see streaming on their app until the long running game ends. If you're already watching on a streaming service it's easy to just fire up the appropriate app.
     
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  20. Aug 29, 2019 #80 of 130
    NashGuy

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    Well, first off, they simply can't lower their prices by 50% because they'd be going in the red -- losing money -- on each subscriber. Cable services actually don't make that money distributing other companies' channels. The margins are already pretty low. Not much room for cutting.

    As for the issue you raise with streaming services, yes, it's a real nuisance, at least for those of us who did not come of age in the streaming era. But I think that problem is already being solved. I use an Apple TV 4K streaming box and largely rely on the Apple TV app it has. This app aggregates together content from just about every streaming service *except* Netflix, who refuses to participate. But the Apple TV app keeps track, in a unified watchlist, off all the stuff one watches in other apps: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Showtime, PBS, CBS All Access, ESPN, Disney+, Starz, Tubi, Pluto TV, etc. And of course Apple's own upcoming Apple TV+ service will call this app home too. So it's very convenient. Perhaps at some point, Netflix will decide to play nice with the other children. Until then, I have to keep a separate watchlist in the Netflix app and open that app to find something there to watch before watching. For everything else, I can just keep track and browse in the Apple TV app.
     

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