AT&T Confirms Live Access To NBC Is Still Mobile-Only On ‘DirecTV Now’

Earlier this week at the official launch event for the DirecTV Now live-TV streaming service, I and others noticed that while the live feed for the local NBC affiliate was showing up on the DirecTV Now mobile app, the channel was absent from the lineup of stations available for viewing on your actual TV. AT&T staff that we spoke to at the event insisted that this would not be the case when the service launched, but DirecTV Now is now live — and NBC is still not working on users’ TV sets.

When we asked about the lack of NBC in the demo version, AT&T explained that this was because we were being shown a beta version of the app; the launch version would include NBC in the markets where the network owns the local affiliate (New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, D.C., Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, among a handful of others).

We’re currently trying DirecTV Now out (NOTE: We are paying for access and not using any discount or media access code) in Philadelphia, and immediately noticed this afternoon that the local NBC station appears to work just fine on the mobile app, but is nowhere to be found when watching DirecTV Now through an Amazon Fire TV stick.

READ MORE: 6 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Deciding Whether To Try ‘DirecTV Now’

A rep for AT&T now tells Consumerist that the lack of NBC on TV is a “technical issue” that the company hopes to correct “in the coming weeks.”

It’s unclear what that technical issue might be, or why AT&T can stream various other NBC properties.

While NBC isn’t currently available live on DirecTV Now users’ TVs, the network’s on-demand library is available for streaming to your TV. So you’ll miss your local news, but you can watch The Blacklist. Whether that’s a good tradeoff will depend on your tolerance for late-model James Spader.

Here are some other issues and concerns we’ve heard about from readers:

• The lack of regional sports network (RSN) coverage. AT&T had told us on Monday that “if an RSN is available on DirecTV in your market, then it will be on DirecTV Now.” However, that doesn’t appear to be true. For example, DirecTV in NYC carries YES, MSG, and SNY sports channels, but DirecTV Now only appears to carry YES. More baffling is the lack of ROOT Sports channels in some markets, as AT&T owns this brand.

• If you want to use a Google Chromecast to bring DirecTV Now to your TV, you’ll need an Android device. That option won’t be coming to iOS until next year some time.

• While the service is portable, access to local stations is not. For example, we started using the service this morning on a mobile device in the New York City market — but with a Philadelphia billing address. As a result, no local TV stations were available until the device reached the Philadelphia area. So don’t plan on being able to watch your local stations on the road, or being able to watch the local stations of whatever town you’re visiting.

• We’ve heard about — and experienced — numerous problems with logins, password resets, error messages, and unavailable customer service. For now we’re willing to chalk that up to launch day glitches and congestion.

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