T-Mobile on Thursday decided to one-up AT&T at its own game, offering a free year of DirecTV Now to AT&T customers who switch to the Un-carrier and zero-rated streaming of the service.
In a move meant to steal the thunder from AT&T’s offer of zero-rated streaming for its customers who stream DirecTV Now, T-Mobile pointed out customers on the Un-carrier’s T-Mobile One Unlimited plan can also take advantage of zero-rated video data and took things a step further by offering the over-the-top pay TV service free for one year.
“AT&T wants you to think DIRECTV is theirs exclusively, but that’s a load of crap,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. “Both DirecTV Now and the DirecTV apps stream free on T-Mobile with a faster, more advanced network that covers nearly every American.”
Under T-Mobile’s offer, AT&T customers who switch two lines and port their numbers to the Un-carrier will receive a $35 monthly bill credit – which covers the cost of DirecTV Now’s base level 60+ channel offering or the cost of the 100+ channel offering for those who signed up during AT&T’s initial DirecTV Now signup promotion.
T-Mobile also said it added DirecTV Now to its Binge On lineup, meaning Simple Choice customers (aka those not on the unlimited plan) will be able to stream video from the service without using their data allowance. As with other video content included in Binge On, T-Mobile noted DirecTV Now would stream at 480p.
T-Mobile’s move appears meant to blunt AT&T’s success in drawing customers with DirecTV Now after AT&T’s CEO heralded “dramatic” results one week after launch.
When it launched the OTT video service earlier this month, AT&T touted the fact that it would offer zero-rated DirecTV Now streaming to its own customers despite backlash from the FCC and critics who claim zero-rated offerings violate the spirit of net neutrality and fair competition.
While AT&T dangled the fruit of free streaming as a way to draw new customers in and ideally get them to bundle services like broadband and wireless, it looks like T-Mobile isn’t about to let that happen without a fight.