AT&T has issued a press release letting you know the following facts: the company intends to “pilot an all-new connected TV experience with no satellite needed” called AT&T TV. It’s going to be a TV streaming service, basically, but it will only be piloted “in select markets.”
But AT&T already offers a TV streaming service called DirecTV Now, which will now be called AT&T TV Now, which is different from the upcoming AT&T TV. But don’t worry because when you log in to the forthcoming AT&T TV app, it will figure out whether you have AT&T TV Now or just AT&T TV. CordCutters reports that AT&T is trialing AT&T TV as a service that includes “a separate piece of hardware that will use the same credentials as AT&T TV Now.”
Got all that? You don’t need to yet, probably, because the gist is that if you’re currently a DirecTV Now customer, you’ll soon (just not now) see the AT&T TV Now logo instead of the DirecTV Now logo. AT&T also says, “Our DIRECTV NOW subscribers will simply need to re-accept the terms of service,” and we’re sure there won’t be any gotchas in there.
Let’s try again, in bullet form:
- DirecTV Now is being rebranded to AT&T TV Now
- AT&T TV, a separate streaming TV service, is coming soon
- A single app called AT&T TV will be how users access both services
Here, AT&T made a helpful GIF that explains everything:
Now if you’re a DirecTV Now user, you should know that your DirecTV Now app will soon turn into an AT&T TV app — but not an AT&T TV Now app — which will let you continue to access your DirecTV Now service, which is now AT&T TV Now. If you’re not now a DirecTV Now customer, you can someday sign up for AT&T TV Now. AT&T promises it will “share more details on this rollout when it begins,” which means that it isn’t happening... yet.
Although you once might have been a DirecTV Now customer, you might not be now: back in March, AT&T radically overhauled the service to include HBO and exclude a bunch of channels that AT&T coincidentally doesn’t own — raising prices in the process. Now doesn’t that sound like a deal?
In the press release, no mention was made of HBO Max, the other streaming television service AT&T-owned WarnerMedia plans to launch in spring 2020, which nobody will confuse with AT&T TV or AT&T TV Now. Nor was there any mention of Verge TV, a name AT&T tried to trademark earlier this year, much to our chagrin.
Nor was there mention of AT&T WatchTV, which offers “35+ channels of live TV” for $15 a month — it’s included for free in some AT&T unlimited data plans — and is available now. It is not, so far as we know, the same thing as AT&T TV, AT&T TV Now, DirecTV, DirecTV Now, Max Go, HBO Now, HBO Go, or HBO Max.
Now now, it’ll be okay: AT&T streaming TV services will continue to launch and / or rebrand until morale improves.