AT&T’s slowly fixing one of the weak links in its DirecTV Now streaming service: the absence of live streaming from ABC, NBC, and Fox affiliates in many markets.
Today the company says that beginning next week it will add ABC stations in 30 markets, NBC in four, and one Fox affiliate. When the roll out is complete, subscribers in about 70% of the country will be able to watch live programming from at least one of the major networks’ local carriers.
It will soon have twice the number of local affiliates that it offered at launch in November. And by the end of August the list will be three times as big.
DirecTV Now does not offer CBS.
“We will keep the momentum going, and have plans to keep the number of local channels growing on DirecTV Now,” AT&T Chief Content Officer Daniel York says.
The new markets with ABC will include Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and Boston. NBC affiliates will be available in Kansas City, MO., Salt Lake City, Milwaukee and West Palm Beach, FL. And Fox is coming to Juneau, AK.
AT&T acknowledged in April that the cable-like live service — which offers budget-conscious viewers 60 channels for $35 a month — had begun to cannibalize subscriptions to its full priced DirecTV satellite offering.
Nevertheless, CFO John Stephens told analysts to “expect us to be more aggressive with DirecTV Now in the second half of the year, with additional features and content.”