AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson revealed on Thursday the carrier’s plans to launch another live TV service called “AT&T Watch,” which would offer a cheap, $15-per-month bundle of channels for customers, and be provided to AT&T Wireless subscribers for free. At this price point, the service would be one of the lowest on the market – less than Sling TV’s entry-level, $20-per-month package, and just a bit less than Philo’s low-cost, sports-free offering, priced at $16 per month.
Stephenson, who’s in court defending the proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner against antitrust claims, announced the service on the witness stand. He held up the soon-to-arrive AT&T Watch as a rebuttal of sorts to the Justice Department’s point about the company’s continually climbing prices for its DirecTV satellite service, according to a report from Variety.
The Justice Department is concerned that, if the merger goes through, AT&T will then raise prices on Time Warner’s Turner networks, like TNT, TBS and CNN in a way that would hurt other pay TV providers.
Few other details were offered regarding AT&T Watch, beyond its price point – which is due to the fact that it will also be sports-free offering, like Philo.
But AT&T’s advantage over competitors is the distribution provided by its AT&T Wireless business. Although its existing streaming service DirecTV Now is one of the newest on the market, it has already reached number two in terms of subscribers, falling behind Sling TV.
Beyond its lack of sports, the channel lineup for AT&T Watch was not discussed, nor was an exact launch date.
Stephenson said the company hoped to launch it in the next few weeks.