AT&T is inching closer to launching its live TV-over-the-Internet bundle. The telecommunications giant has just closed a deal with NBC Universal to include NBCU channels like Bravo, USA and E! in its DirecTV Now package, which the company plans on launching toward the end of this year.
NBC’s channels will join 100 or so currently confirmed networks that will be part of the live streaming package. Disney, HBO and Discovery networks have already signed deals with AT&T that include distribution via DirecTV Now.
The big question for DirecTV Now is whether CBS, which has the most total viewers of any broadcast network, will join. CBS has its own live streaming subscription service, CBS All Access, that it’s trying to build into a major player.
A deal for the 21st Century Fox suite of networks, including FX and Fox News, is also still being negotiated, sources say.
The actual shape of the DirecTV Now package is still being determined, meaning AT&T won’t reveal a price yet. At more than 100 channels, it’s unlikely that the product will be cheaper than Dish Network’s live streaming bundle, Sling TV, which starts at $20 per month for a basic package that can be upgraded in various ways, like adding on HBO for $15 more a month or kids’ channels for $5 more each month.
Streaming service Hulu — which is owned by Comcast, 21st Century Fox, Time Warner and Disney — has also revealed plans to launch a live-streaming TV package of its own, in 2017.