DIRECTV Now? DIRECTV When?

Well, time’s running out.

DIRECTV Now, the streaming-only service, from AT&T, was expected to launch this month. Other sites claimed to have memos which put the launch at November 4, but it’s been two weeks and still no DIRECTV Now.

Finally, there’s a little bit of concrete news: Multichannel News reports thaty they’ve been invited to a “launch celebration” taking place in New York City on November 28. (Funny, my invitation must have been lost in the mail.) The only thing is, no one seems to believe the site will actually launch on that date. It’s much more likely that the service will be shown and potentially a launch date will be set.

There’s a lot of demand for this service and even though AT&T has a lot of bandwidth to dedicate, the smart money is on a “slow rollout” of DIRECTV Now. They might offer the service to a few thousand people at first, keeping demand strong while they work out the kinks. Personally I think that’s smart because you’ve seen a lot of these sorts of services fail because of high-profile problems in the early days.

AT&T also has to be careful in the coming months as the legislative landscape is definitely changing. It’s hard to know what the next group of FCC commissioners will make of AT&T’s latest plans. There may be challenges to AT&T’s current policy of “zero rating” its DIRECTV content, we may see roadblocks in their goal of acquiring Time Warner, and on the other hand the entire doctrine of net neutrality could change drastically in the coming years. In other words, it’s not exactly the most comforting time to be launching a high-profile streaming service. They have to be careful.

If you’ve been thinking about cutting the cord, giving up DIRECTV satellite service in favor of DIRECTV Now, honestly you have to be glad that DIRECTV satellite service is still a rock-solid value, as we head into the holiday season where kids and parents could be home watching more TV than ever. Your home’s internet capacity is going to be stretched to the limit, and it’s nice to know that no matter how many kids are bored at home they’ll all be able to find something to watch on DIRECTV.

And they can have DIRECTV satellite TV “now…” even though they won’t be able to get “DIRECTV Now” until later. Yeah, I know, it’s confusing. It confused me when I wrote it. I guess that’s why I didn’t make it into the marketing department at DIRECTV.