AT&T Hints at Impending Mobile Entertainment Product
Telecom titan AT&T executives hinted at an upcoming “premium content” service at an industry conference on Tuesday. Speaking at the 43rd annual Global Media & Communications Conference in New York City, CEO Randall Stephenson announced the service, which the company expects to launch next month, will provide “mobile stacked content together with a really robust wireless asset”. The executive offered few further details about the service, but did make sure to beam about the company’s acquisition of DirecTV, the world’s largest satellite TV provider. Stephenson noted that DirecTV customers have access to a large amount of content. “That big bundle content,” he said, “we will deliver and are delivering in one of two ways. We are streaming that bundle on content into their home… We are also streaming the content to a mobile device.”
AT&T’s chief executive went on to tout the company’s stockpile of content rights, including stacking rights, which allow the to offer full seasons of current shows. Stephenson mentioned deals in place with Viacom, HBO, Showtime and A&E, calling the AT&T portfolio of content “about the best… in the United States.” He also revealed that the company is looking at offering a bundle of content for consumers without pay TV subscriptions. There are 30 million American households that don’t pay for TV, the CEO noted, and AT&T is “very interested” in offering a budget-friendly alternative to cable or satellite. When agreeing to acquire DirecTV for $49 billion last summer, AT&T became the world’s largest provider of television service, with over 26 million customers in the US alone.