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AT&T TV: An Unskinny Streaming Bundle That Looks a Lot Like Traditional Pay TV

August 21, 2019 / TODD SPANGLER

AT&T this week launched AT&T TV, a new subscription streaming television service that uses an Android-based internet set-top, in 10 markets. But the way it’s priced and packaged looks very similar to cable and satellite TV services — in other words, AT&T TV isn’t targeted at the cord-cutter crowd. It’s basically designed as a way for the telco to migrate customers from its DirecTV satellite and U-verse services, to deliver a premium, full-price (i.e. healthy margin) TV bundle more cost-effectively by providing for subscriber self-installation. Unlike other “virtual pay-TV” internet services, AT&T TV carries promotional pricing contingent on a traditional two-year contract, and subscribers are subject to activation and early-termination fees. Analysts are unsure whether AT&T TV will see significant uptake. AT&T chief Randall Stephenson has promised that the new product will be the “workhorse” for the company’s...