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AT&T to compete with Netflix by offering three-tiered streaming service by late 2019 – Dallas News


Dallas-based AT&T Inc. is putting its new Time Warner arsenal of media properties to work, rolling out not one but three streaming video services to compete with Netflix Inc.

One of the new products launching late next year will be a movies-only plan, the company said on Thursday. Another will have original programming as well as blockbuster films. And the highest-priced choice will include a library that includes content licensed from other companies.

The price of the plans was not announced.

AT&T will have plenty of competition. Walt Disney Co. is introducing an online service with Star Wars and Marvel shows around the same time, and Jeffrey Katzenberg has a new short-form video project in the works. 

But AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson has to find new ways to retain TV viewers, because his DirecTV Now online streaming service is going to lose subscribers this quarter and next, AT&T said. In September, Stephenson said he planned to use Time Warner’s HBO as the anchor for the new online video service and surround it with Warner Bros. shows and films — and possibly sports programming.

“We are well positioned for success as the lines between entertainment and communications continue to blur,” Stephenson said in a statement. “If you’re a media company, you can no longer rely exclusively on wholesale distribution models. You must develop a direct relationship with your viewers. And if you’re a communications company, you can no longer rely exclusively on oversized bundles of content.”

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