AT&T Expands Fox Programming Pact to Include Online TV Service

AT&T Inc. and Fox Networks Group, a unit of 21st Century Fox Inc., agreed to extend their programming-licensing agreement to cover DirecTV Now, a $35-a-month live TV streaming service set to launch this month.

The new pact means AT&T can offer Fox News, Fox Business, FX, FXX and several Fox sports channels to subscribers of both DirecTV and DirecTV Now, according to a statement Monday.

The agreement doesn’t include programming from Fox Broadcasting’s local networks. The two companies say they have “agreed on a framework” to continue discussions for local broadcasting rights.

AT&T, which is buying Time Warner Inc. for $85.4 billion, plans to unveil its 100-channel DirecTV Now this month as a response to online-only TV competitors like Netflix Inc. and Inc., which have been luring its customers away with lower-priced alternatives. The service is priced to compete with two leading online-TV providers -- Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Dish Network Corp.’s Sling TV.

CBS is the only big broadcast network that hasn’t announced a programming deal with DirecTV Now.

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