The growth of skinny bundles has emerged from a number of different camps as established media powers work to carve out space in the world of cord cutters and cord shavers. One company, AT&T has been pushing a novel approach that they are at the moment uniquely able to offer. They have been promoting their Streaming service, DirecTV Now along with data packages for their cell service. This is a strategic marriage that its competitors can not match because they simply have no stake in the cell phone industry.
Its latest deal pairs access to HBO Now with cell phone service. The promotion offers customers who have what AT&T calls the “Unlimited Choice”, a $60.00 plan, free access to HBO Now. The company is also able to offer sixty channels from DirecTV Now for ten dollars. The reason this is interesting, is nobody else can offer this kind of deal. Hulu is owned by TV properties like Disney and News Corp. Sling TV is owned by Dish Network. DirecTV Now has been co-promoted with AT&T’s cell packages for some time. At the moment there is nothing similar offered by the other major skinny bundle services. The question is, how many people out there who do not have a cell phone plan with AT&T also do not have Cable or HBO Now? Or does the savings offered to existing customers offer enough to change the game for users?
Verizon, which does offer TV services in some markets could be in a position to offer similar deals and currently boasts an exclusive NFL access on mobile devices. But at the moment the company does not offer a nationally available online option in the vein of DirecTV Now
Access to HBO Now is not limited to phones. This means that if people do jump in with this offer they will be able to access HBO now on the full range of devices that partner with the service. This includes all of the major set-top boxes computers.