AT&T will launch two new limitless wi-fi plans subsequent week that will be bundled with a brand new video streaming service known as WatchTV, within the firm’s first transfer to pair leisure with cellphone service after closing its $85 billion acquisition of media firm Time Warner.
The No. 2 US wi-fi service is placing to make use of Time Warner’s steady of content material, together with TV channels like TBS and CNN, to drive gross sales of the wi-fi plans at a time when carriers have struggled to search out development.
“This is step one to remodeling how content material is created, distributed and consumed,” David Christopher, president of AT&T mobility and leisure, mentioned in an interview.
WatchTV, which will have over 30 reside channels however no sports activities or native information channels, will be free for patrons of the brand new wifi plans. It will price $15 monthly as a standalone product. Clients who join the higher-priced wi-fi plan can even get HBO without spending a dime, the premium TV channel with the hit present “Recreation of Thrones” that AT&T acquired as a part of the Time Warner deal.
A federal choose earlier this month accredited the merger of AT&T and Time Warner, handing AT&T a win after the Division of Justice sued to cease the deal, saying a merger would give AT&T unfair leverage over rival pay-TV suppliers.
AT&T, like different pay-TV suppliers, has been shedding linear TV subscribers as viewers “minimize the wire” on satellite tv for pc TV packages in favor of cheaper streaming choices. Within the first quarter, AT&T shed 187,000 linear video subscribers.
The corporate additionally misplaced 22,000 wi-fi prospects who pay a month-to-month invoice through the first quarter, and whereas it was an enhancement from the 348,000 prospects it misplaced the earlier yr, continued losses have pressured AT&T to search out methods to develop the dear wi-fi enterprise.
Watch TV as a standalone product will compete with different low-cost video streaming choices, together with Dish Community’s Sling TV, which prices $20 for the bottom bundle, and Philo, which prices $16.