AT&T wants you to stream DirecTV online, even if you’re not on AT&T

You won't need a dish for 'Homeland'

AT&T is announcing a new TV service that’s aimed at cord-cutters. You don’t have to be an existing customer of AT&T, or even its satellite subsidiary, DirecTV, to buy it. And best of all, you’ll be able to watch it over the Internet on your smartphone.

AT&T’s service, which it’s calling DirecTV Now, is different from services like Netflix or Hulu. Unlike those apps, which offer on-demand content but not live television programming, DirecTV Now will have both kinds of content. AT&T hopes the move will help it capture a growing market for mobile video as providers ranging from Comcast to Verizon get in the game, too.

AT&T isn’t revealing which channels will be available as part of its streaming TV service, nor how much it’ll cost. But it’s hinting that the services will be somewhat modular, allowing you to buy “premium” add-on content in addition to what you get in the base subscription. It’ll be available later this year, according to a company release.

The telecom and cable industries are rushing headlong to embrace Internet streaming as it’s become clear simply providing Internet access (mobile or otherwise) isn’t enough to sustain the business. That push has only accelerated as products like Dish Network’s Sling TV – which also offers a mix of live TV and on-demand content – have shown surprisingly strong growth.