Signs of the launch of DirecTV Now appeared over a year ago when the satellite provider’s longtime rival Dish Network launched SlingTV, one of the first bundles of live broadband TV programming to compete with cable offerings. The other shoe dropped when AT&T purchased DirecTV, using it to vastly exchange the reach of its video services beyond the fiber-based U-Verse video offering.
While U-Verse is a regional offering, SlingTV has been outperforming it in downloads since the broadband service launched. Entering the market so late behind its rival, AT&T has sought to differentiate the service in several ways:
Having the U.S.’s larger satellite TV provider join the broadband TV app offerings will provide a more accurate lens through which to gauge consumer demand for a more robust app-based TV offering. Given the fullness of the offering, media companies will also find it instructional to see to what extent DirecTV grows the pay TV subscription market, cannibalizes its video base or steals customers from cable providers.