As promised AT&T has launched WatchTV, a live TV service offered as a perk of its new “Unlimited &More” data plans, as well as in a $15-per-month standalone service.
The service exploits the carrier’s $85 billion Time Warner takeover, and includes over 30 channels, several of them Time Warner properties like CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, and Turner Classic Movies. Some non-Turner options include AMC, HGTV, and BBC America as well as BBC World News.
Conspicuously absent are any local or sports channels, though this may help to keep the service’s cost down. BET, Comedy Central, MTV 2, Nicktoons, TeenNick, and VH1 are promised sometime after launch.
People with an &More plan can choose to add one of several “premium” services at no extra charge, including not just video options like HBO and Showtime but also two music services, Amazon Music Unlimited and Pandora Premium.
There are no DVR functions at the moment, but 15,000 titles are available on-demand.
Supported Apple platforms include iOS and tvOS devices. Android, Chromecast, and Amazon’s Fire TV are also compatible.
AT&T’s Time Warner acquisition was strongly opposed in some quarters, including by U.S. President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice, the latter of which sued to block the deal. Critics outside the government have worried about the growing hegemony the deal represents in media and communications, since it creates an entity with control over content, distribution, and infrastructure.
The WatchTV app requires a device with iOS 10 or later, or an Apple TV/Apple TV 4K.