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Published on June 21st, 2018 | by Brad Gibson

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UPDATE: AT&T confirms WatchTV service bound for “certain streaming devices”

UPDATE: 06/21/2018 at 3:03 PM ET: An AT&T company spokesman has confirmed to BESTAppleTV.com that its Watch TV service will be a standalone app on Apple TV, that will launch “next week” and those wireless customers subscribing to the two new unlimited plans will be able to watch through the Apple TV app at no additional charge.

AT&T officially announced its $15-a-month sports-free television streaming service of 31 basic channels on Thursday giving hope that it will be available on Apple TV but giving few details other than to say it will be available on “certain streaming devices” at a later time. 

The announcement – lacking in details before the services official launch next week – gives the impression the availability of WatchTV as a standalone service on streaming devices will cost extra for all customers and not be part of the offer of free availability for certain AT&T’s wireless customers. The announcement said, “details on WatchTV as a $15/month standalone service are also coming soon.”

An AT&T spokesperson was not immediately available for comment or clarification to BESTAppleTV.com on whether the service will be available as an app on Apple TV, what the cost will be, if unlimited wireless customers getting the service will get free access through a streaming device, or when it will be available on streaming devices.

Various other news services are stating the service will be available through an Apple TV app, but have given no definitive confirmation from an AT&T spokesperson.

The new TV service will include 30-plus live channels, over 15,000 TV shows and movies on demand, and will be available on “virtually every” smartphone, tablet, browser, as well as “certain” streaming device. 

Here’s a full list of Watch TV channels:

  • A&E
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet
  • Audience
  • BBC World News
  • BBC America
  • Boomerang
  • Cartoon Network
  • CNN
  • Discovery
  • Food Network
  • FYI
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HGTV
  • History
  • HLN
  • IFC
  • Investigation Discovery
  • Lifetime
  • Lifetime Movies
  • OWN
  • Sundance TV
  • TBS
  • TCM
  • TLC
  • TNT
  • TRU TV
  • Velocity
  • Viceland
  • WE

AT&T says these six additional channels will be coming soon:

  • BET
  • Comedy Central
  • MTV2
  • Nicktoons
  • Teennick
  • VH1

The announcement made no mention of a possible Cloud DVR option.

The announcement came with AT&T unveiling two new unlimited data plans – AT&T Unlimited &More and AT&T Unlimited &More Premium – that will be bundled with WatchTV at no additional cost. The plans replace the existing options, with a starting price that is $5 more expensive for a single line. The plans “are scheduled to launch next week,” the announcement stated.

The ‘HBO for life’ promotion for unlimited customers has been canceled with this announcement. Customers on existing plans are free to switch to the new option but will lose free access to HBO.

Unlimited &More starts at $70 a line — above the $65 cost of its Unlimited Choice Enhanced plan — for a single line. Its four-line bundle of $160 remains the same. The plan gives access to WatchTV, standard definition video, no mobile hotspot capability and a $15 credit towards its DirecTV Now streaming service, which is also available as an Apple TV app.

The Premium tier starts at $80 for a single line and $190 for four lines. In addition to WatchTV, users will be able to choose one premium add-on from the choices of HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, VRV and streaming music channels Pandora Premium and Amazon Music Unlimited. There is a $15 credit that can be applied to DirecTV satellites service, DirecTV Now or U-Verse TV, 15 gigabits of mobile hotspot capability and high-definition video.

In terms of a comparison with other streaming services available on Apple TV, Watch TV undercuts Dish’s Sling TV by $5 a month as the cheapest option on the market, although Sling TV offers ESPN, ESPN 2, and ESPN 3 while Watch TV has no sports channels. Sling TVs cheapest Orange package at $30 a month offers only one simultaneous stream as Watch TV is also expected to have, but AT&T has not officially confirmed.

WatchTV will stream in standard definition over AT&T’s cellular network, but will be available in higher quality via WiFi.

The announcement makes good on a plan that AT&T promised would happen if and when the merger with Time Warner was approved by the U.S. government. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed the service would be announced soon, just days ago.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.



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