It hasn’t been that long since the idea of being able to get all of your TV through the internet was still some far-off future. But by now, we get streaming TV news from the oldest of old-school companies, AT&T, and the new giants, like Facebook, all at once. So here’s what’s shaking in the world of streaming TV this week.
DirecTV Loses Viewers; DirecTV Now Gains (Some Of) Them Back
AT&T reported its quarterly results this week, and it’s basically a perfect tug-of-war between the old and the new.
Between 156,000 customers cutting DirecTV and another 195,000 canceling their U-verse subscriptions, AT&T finished the quarter down more than 350,000 traditional pay-TV viewers.
As DSL Reports notes, this is in fact a record high loss for AT&T. But cord-cutters who flock away from old-school cable and satellite packages aren’t entirely leaving AT&T’s ecosystem.
Because that’s what DirecTV Now is for: capturing cord-cutters and keeping them as AT&T customers even while they shift to internet viewing. And AT&T says that up to a point, it’s working. DirecTV Now picked up 152,000 new subscribers last quarter, bringing it to just under 500,000 subscribers total.
The service launched back in January, when it picked up 200,000 customers in its first month — but AT&T wasn’t prepared for that level of interest out of the gate, and early adopters experienced app glitches and service failures while the company tried to sort things out.
It appears to have gotten over those growing pains now, and a half-million customers in seven months isn’t bad. But since AT&T overall lost roughly 199,000 video more customers than it gained, clearly the streaming-only option has a lot of ground to make up.
Facebook TV: Coming Soon To A Phone Near You
Bloomberg reports today that Facebook is planning to launch its first foray into original TV content in the middle of August.
The ever-popular “people familiar with the matter” tell Bloomberg that after “several false starts,” Facebook’s new TV tab will go live with short-form content commissioned by “media partners.”
It’s not quite the original, scripted TV shows Facebook has said it plans; that content, a challenge to Netflix and Amazon, is expected to follow sometime later.
Some Cable Companies Can Start Selling PlayStation Vue
No, Comcast and Charter aren’t going to be offering you Sony’s online TV service anytime soon. But a whole lot of other, smaller cable TV and internet providers soon may.
Sony has just signed an agreement with the NCTC allowing member companies to resell PlayStation View service, Telecompetitor reports.
The NCTC is a consortium representing about 800 smaller cable and internet providers. All together, the NCTC’s member companies reach over 9 million customers — small potatoes, as compared to Comcast and Charter’s 25 million each, but still a significant number of viewers.
This isn’t the first time smaller carriers have made a deal with an internet provider, and it’s not really a surprise that many would want to.
Some small cable companies have even been dropping TV and becoming internet companies in recent years, as the cost of providing cable networks increases.