What DirecTV NOW could mean for soccer fans in the United States
DirecTV plans on launching its brand-new streaming service DirecTV NOW on Friday, November 4. While all of the details have yet to be announced, the subscription service could be enticing for both soccer fans and cord cutters alike.
Satellite TV subscribers to DirecTV already have an app they can use to stream games to smartphones and tablets via their DirecTV subscription, but that app is completely different than the DirecTV NOW service. Instead, DirecTV NOW will be a stand-alone streaming subscription that’ll allow users to watch their favorite programming from 100 channels for $35 per month (without requiring a TV subscription).
The $35 price point for 100 channels will make DirecTV NOW a direct competitor to PlayStation Vue. For $45 per month, PlayStation Vue offers more than 100 channels. But while DirecTV has not announced the DirecTV NOW channel lineup yet, most of our favorite soccer channels would presumably be included. With a price that’s $10 less per month than PS Vue, the cost savings could benefit the public as well as possibly triggering a price war between DirectTV and PlayStation.
DirecTV NOW will be available via iOS and Android mobile devices, web browsers, as well as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. Compatibility with Roku isn’t expected to be available at launch.
No annual contracts will be required, and add-on packages including HBO will be available.
According to a leaked DirecTV memo, “Customers need high-speed broadband service to stream content at a high quality. It is recommended that DIRECTV NOW be used with 12 Mbps broadband at a minimum.”
A 7-day free trial of DirecTV NOW will be available when the service launches.
As of press time, what we don’t know is whether DirecTV NOW will offer cloud DVR functionality so you can record your favorite programs, as well as whether DirecTV NOW will include access to NBC Sports App, FOX Sports GO, beIN SPORTS Connect and other apps that require authentication.
With DirecTV being owned by AT&T, the pending launch of DirecTV NOW means that consumers in the United States have three ways of watching content — either (1) via the DirecTV satellite service, (2) AT&T U-verse or (3) DirecTV NOW.
At the end of the day, increased competition is good. But for soccer fans, we’ll have to wait and see what the service offers to know whether DirecTV NOW will be a serious consideration or not.