Millions of people love sports. Even small, niche sports draw enthusiastic audiences. And then there are those people who just aren’t interested in watching any sports channels. To their chagrin, these traditional cable subscribers must pay for sports channels they don’t watch. AT&T brings a bit of cost-saving good news for non-fans of sports. The telecommunications giant plans to release a “sports-free streaming service” that comes with a $15-per-month fee.
The new soon-to-be-launched service is dubbed “AT&T Watch.” The streaming channel hopes to compete with other budget streaming services proving popular among media and entertainment consumers. Consider this new channel another alternative distribution network capable of taking subscribers away from traditional cable providers. While cable does come with hundreds upon hundreds of channels, subscribers — in general — only watch a limited number of channels that specifically appeal to them. Streaming services, due to the nature of the technology, can present a scaled-down option.
AT&T may offer the channel, but subscribers eventually decide whether the streaming service succeeds in the market. With the impending arrival of AT&T Watch, the streaming market might soon become a bit crowded. A sports-free channel certainly may appeal to a decent customer base, but is that base large enough to make the endeavor worth it? AT&T’s sports-free service won’t be the first one of its kind on the market. Philo already launched a sports-free streaming service. Granted, the AT&T name is bigger and better branded. The Philo name might not inspire would-be subscribers to the same degree AT&T can.
AT&T surely performed market research to determine the viability of launching the streaming service. Even if the subscriber numbers aren’t significant right now, AT&T could be opening a door to future business by getting in on the proverbial action right now.