AT&T is planning to launch an over-the-top service that harnesses content agreements made via its satellite TV provider DirecTV.
The news was revealed by AT&T chairman and CEO Randall L. Stephenson on Tuesday at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City. He said that full details would be come out in January, when the service begins its rollout.
According to Stephenson, the proposed service would feature entertainment programming from outlets such as HBO, A+E, Viacom and Starz and sports from ESPN, TNT and NFL Sunday Ticket. AT&T has access to the content through stacking and mobile rights negotiated for DirecTV, which it acquired in a deal valued at $48.5 billion that closed in July 2015.
“The idea [is] that you put that portfolio of mobile stacked content together with a really robust wireless asset… [creating] a bundle of content that could be delivered directly to the consumer even though they don’t have a satellite subscription,” Stephenson said.
DirecTV has commissioned original series for its channel Audience Network, including “Kingdom,” a drama about a family that runs a mixed martial arts gym in L.A. Stephenson said he sees the company expanding its development of original content to differentiate it from its competitors, as Netflix has done with its series (“House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black”) and films.
Stephenson said proposed service could also take advantage of content produced by Otter Media, AT&T’s joint venture with the Chernin Group, launched in April 2014, focusing on over-the-top video.
“If you find some stuff that’s really good, really exciting [from Otter}, you might transport it into the DirecTV and the premium over-the-top client on the mobile side,” Stephenson said. “But we’ve got a lot of irons in the fire and we got a lot of really smart people that have great places in the ecosystem.”