We’ve all heard that AT&T will stop marketing DirecTV in favor of pushing forward AT&T TV, which would put it among players in the ever-popular streaming universe. But what about AT&T U-verse? The short answer is that it will likely join DirecTV in cable heaven.
Head over to social media platforms, and AT&T U-verse is being absorbed by AT&T TV or just AT&T in general. It’s like it’s never existed before, erased from history. And pretty soon, that will be quite true.
This is a legacy service and it’s the older generation who is hanging on to it for dear life. Any business with success on its mind should cut it loose and run.
AT&T is smart enough to know that the future isn’t in the old big-box cable world. It’s in streaming, of course, but to challenge Netflix, Roku, Hulu and others will undoubtedly be a monumental endeavor, especially as a latecomer.
In fact, AT&T U-verse is no longer accepting customers online (you can sign up by phone), as the company tries to steer potential users to AT&T TV. This is a keen move, as about 6 million abandoned satellite and cable in 2019, according to Wall Street analyst firm MoffettNathanson. This figure will only grow larger in 2020.
AT&T isn’t entirely a wreck, though. It does give customers access to more than 550 channels, and of them, 225 are in HD. It also boasts a modern DVR that can record multiple shows simultaneously. And at $50 for the first 12 months, the price point runs in the middle of the pack (though watch out for those sneaky regional sports fees and taxes). Don’t forget that bundling with internet could save those few precious dollars.
But in today’s streaming world, there is no “ahhh” factor at all. Netflix has it. Hulu has it, and so does Roku. These relative newbies are shaking up the TV/Movie universe. Every month, Netflix’s upcoming show/film list has become a must-read for any TV connoisseur.
For those sports fans out there, AT&T U-verse offers the basics of the ESPN channels, FOX sports and NBC sports. But considering that AT&T U-verse is under the same umbrella as DirecTV, many are wondering why they can’t get NFL Sunday Ticket.
It is indeed true that NFL Sunday Ticket may be the only content that separates DirecTV from the streaming behemoths out there. For AT&T U-verse customers to be shut out of that makes little business sense. And to come full circle, maybe even offering AT&T U-verse as a service anymore makes little business sense.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV.