No surprises here. Hot on the heels of the FCC approving AT&T‘s takeover of DIRECTV, the US carrier announces its first ever subscription plans that combines the wealth of content from broadcast television with the wealth of content from the Internet. Yes, a bundle that combines and TV and wireless, all under one provider, all with one bill. This “first-ever nationwide” bundle practically makes AT&T not world’s largest Internet service provider but the world’s largest pay TV operator, which is to sure to send some rivals and regulators trembling.
Some might fear this new monopoly over content delivery services, but the landscape is fast changing, with TV, whether broadcast or cable, and wireless carriers starting to converge in more ways than one. We’ve seen cable operators starting to give in on the Internet way of serving up content and we’re seeing carriers dipping their toes into the entertainment sector. It really is only just a matter of time.
For AT&T, that time is now. With DIRECTV under its wings, it is able to offer up TV with Internet subscriptions or vice versa. For AT&T, it opens up a whole new world of possible subscribers. For customers, it means having only one bill to rule them all.
Like everything in this industry, it’s all about bundles and discounts. Under this new DIRECTV-inspired bundle, customers can avail of AT&T’s wireless service for up to four lines, including unlimited talk and text with 10 GB of shareable data, for $160 and then top it off with DIRECTV’s Select or U-verse U-family option, which can be used on four TVs, for $50. When taken together, however, AT&T will give a $10 discount on the monthly combined bill. In short, $200 for wireless service and cable for four TVs and four phones.
One of AT&T’s biggest pull in this department will be the NFL Sunday Ticket, which allows subscribers to enjoy live out-of-market coverage of NFL games across any of those covered devices, though, naturally, that comes at an additional cost on top of the base bundle.