I hope you're ready for some more free TV! Viewers in 14 cities awoke today to find FOX as part of their lineups in DIRECTV NOW, the live TV streaming service from AT&T. Local channels are being added quickly, and these cities were the lucky winners this time:
- San Diego
- Grand Rapids, MI
- Greensboro, N.C.
- Harrisburg, PA
- Hartford, CT
- Kansas City
- Salt Lake City
- St. Louis
These stations, owned by Tribune Media, join 17 other FOX stations on the streaming service.
DIRECTV NOW really seems to be moving toward getting as much local channel coverage as possible. For now they are focusing on major networks and stations owned by larger conglomerates, but this seems to be a stepping stone to getting every station possible in every city. While competitors fall all over themselves to call their services "skinny," DIRECTV is focusing on being a full-featured competitor, often providing as much channel selection as traditional cable TV with no contracts and no equipment. This approach means cord-cutters have more options than ever to get the content they want.
Of course, some will say that without DVR service, a streaming service can only go so far and I do agree. For now, supplementing DIRECTV NOW with Hulu or Fullscreen (one of DIRECTV's lesser-known streaming services) can help get over the hump, as can DIRECTV NOW's huge selection of on-demand content. However, for those who want to pause live TV or record virtually anything they see, it's a waiting game as DIRECTV moves toward DVR service without making any commitments as to when or how that's going to happen. It's going to take a lot of contract negotiations to do it right.
If you're interested in DIRECTV NOW, you can do a free trial by going to directvnow.com. If you're still interested in a truly full-featured, premium service, satellite-delivered DIRECTV is still the best, as it will take some time before we see the same deep level of content and features from DIRECTV NOW.