AT&T has now inked a deal that brings EPIX to the DIRECTV ecosystem.
The deal was announced earlier today although the terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
According to the announcement, DIRECTV customers will be the first to gain the option to subscribe to EPIX, starting from May 19.
DIRECTV NOW subscribers will also gain access to EPIX although there was no firm information provided on when. The announcement simply says “coming soon.”
In either case, opting to subscribe to EPIX through DIRECTV will set customers back $5.99 per month.
The price point mentioned does not make the cost any better or worse than what consumers already have access to through EPIX’s “NOW” app as that direct-to-consumer solution is and also priced at $5.99 per month.
Making this more of a move about convenience for consumers who would simply prefer to pay through DIRECTV or DIRECTV NOW then have to manage another subscription in an age where 'more subscriptions' is in fashion.
This also comes at a time when DIRECTV NOW is considered to be in the midst of a long-term cost-cutting phase.
AT&T, who owns DIRECTV NOW recently announced a revamping of the streaming service's main plans which placed a greater focus on content owned by AT&T, as well as the content acquired through the purchase of Time Warner.
One of the effects of this revamp was a removal of third-party content that AT&T and DIRECTV would have to otherwise pay for.
This approach was considered to be one of the main driving forces behind the direction DIRECTV NOW is going in as AT&T looked to cut debt.
The announcement of a new licensing agreement between DIRECTV and EPIX would seem to go against this principle of focusing on its own content. Although this may prove to be more acceptable than other third-party agreements to AT&T considering consumers will have to pay extra to access the new content, instead of that content having to be factored into the one-price DIRECTV NOW plans.
For example, one of the initial big casualties from the DIRECTV NOW revamping was Viacom who effectively saw all of its channels being removed from the streaming service.
This did prove to only be a temporary issue, as following a fairly public spat surrounding the value of Viacom’s catalog, as well as pressure from customers, the two agreed a new deal which saw roughly half of the channels removed returning to DIRECTV NOW.
At present, DIRECTV NOW charges a minimum of $50 per month for its basic “Plus” plan which includes access to more than 40 channels.
One of those channels is HBO at no additional cost and this represents a saving of $15 compared to what users of competing services would need to pay to access HBO as an add-on, or those who access HBO via the direct-to-consumer solution.
Those on the Plus plan do also have the option of adding Cinemax (included for free in the $70 "Max" plan along with HBO), SHOWTIME or STARZ. All three of those add-ons are priced at an additional $11 each per month.
Following today's news that list of premium add-ons will soon be updated to include EPIX.