Fresh off its takeover of TV programmer Time Warner, mobile carrier AT&T said it will launch a $15-a-month sports-free television-streaming service centered on Time Warner's Turner collection of channels -- so think TBS and TNT minus any basketball, plus CNN and Cartoon Network.
And that means no HBO.
The service, called AT&T Watch TV, would be free for people who already pay AT&T for an unlimited plan, CEO Randall Stephenson said during an appearance on CNBC on Friday morning. It would also be available for anyone to subscribe, regardless of whether you're an AT&T customer, and it will carry advertising.
More details will come next week, he said.
AT&T Watch would be the latest in a parade of streaming TV services that have emerged in the last three years, as companies jostle to establish themselves with television viewers migrating from traditional cable or satellite services to digital ones. The new service would compete with higher-priced rivals that offer more channels -- including a service from AT&T itself, DirecTV Now.
The new service's superskinny bundle of channels has a direct competitor too: Philo, which strips out sports and news channels to offer a cheap, $16-a-month package of entertainment networks. By launching AT&T Watch TV at $15, Philo would lose its crown as the cheaper live-TV streamer.
Stephenson indicated that AT&T Watch TV fit the company's mentality for mobile distribution, and he didn't specify whether the service would be for mobile devices only or also stream to TVs, for example through boxes like Roku and Apple TV. (Generally speaking, these virtual TV services stream most of their hours to people's TVs.)
All of the Turner networks include TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), truTV, Bleacher Report, Boomerang, ELeague, FilmStruck, Great Big Story, HLN, iStreamPlanet, Super and Turner Sports.
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