Days after completing its monumental acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T is announcing a second streaming TV service that’s priced lower than the company’s existing DirecTV Now offering. The new service is called WatchTV and it launches next week. WatchTV includes 31 channels, with 6 networks from Viacom coming “soon after.” AT&T had confirmed the service was coming in recent weeks as it sought approval for the Time Warner deal.

Several Time Warner networks including Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, TNT, and TCM are part of the programming bundle. But it also includes a few other popular networks including A&E, AMC, and HGTV. For now, WatchTV is available with AT&T’s latest and just-announced unlimited plans, Unlimited &More and Unlimited &More Premium. AT&T says 15,000 titles (a mix of TV shows and movies) will be available on-demand through the service.

WatchTV will also be made available standalone for $15 per month, which undercuts Dish’s Sling TV ($20/month) as the cheapest option on the market. AT&T says more information about that will be coming soon. WatchTV “will be compatible on virtually every current smartphone, tablet, or web browser, and certain streaming devices.”

That AT&T is specifying “certain” there makes me think customers might face some annoying restrictions for viewing WatchTV on an actual television. Is this largely going to be limited to mobile devices? We’ll have to wait for the list of supported devices to see.

Keep in mind that WatchTV doesn’t replace DirecTV Now in any way; it’s an even skinnier content bundle for people who would be satisfied with these channels and no sports. Viacom’s odd mix of networks that will join the list soon — Comedy Central, BET, VH1, MTV2 (though not regular MTV), TeenNick, and NickToons — is a sign that content providers have limits on what they’ll include for such a low monthly price.

AT&T’s new unlimited plans roll out next week. Unlimited &More starts at $70 for a single line if you’ve enabled autopay and paperless billing. Video streaming is limited to 480p, and the plan doesn’t include any hotspot tethering. Both of those things come with the pricier &More Premium option, which unlocks 1080p video and 15GB of hotspot usage for $80 per month.

Both plans include a $15 credit towards DirecTV satellite service, since AT&T still very much wants to sell those subscriptions as well. But Unlimited &More Premium also lets customers pick one streaming service that they’ll get for free each month as part of the plan. Your options are HBO, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, Starz, Amazon Music Unlimited, or Pandora Premium.


Source by theverge