The pay-TV business finally looks like it’s about to get seriously disrupted by the internet. And the insurgent now leading the most aggressive attack the industry has ever seen is Randall Stephenson — who runs the largest pay-TV business in the U.S.
The AT&T chief proudly dropped a bombshell in announcing that the new DirecTV Now service will include a core bundle of more than 100 live channels, priced at a head-turning $35 per month. That’s far lower than anyone expected, prompting analysts to suggest the internet-delivered offering likely has a negative net margin. It’s also much more affordable than DirecTV’s entry-level satellite service that features 145-plus channels, which carries a regular price of $88 monthly.
“This is the most exciting thing I’ve been a part of in a long time, and I can’t wait,” Stephenson said last month at the Wall Street Journal-hosted WSJD Live conference, where he announced initial details of DirecTV Now. “I border on the evangelical about it,” he added. The telco, which declined to make execs available for interviews for this story, expects to launch the suite of DirecTV Now services later this month.