DirecTV has added an electronic sell-through option that lets its satellite TV customers purchase movies and TV titles, including some new releases that become available before their rental windows.
Though DirecTV joins other MVPDs, such as Comcast and Verizon, that offer EST, titles purchased from DirecTV are only accessible so long as the customer continues to get service from DirecTV, according to the FAQ.
“You will not be able to access your purchased movies if your account is not active, even if you return as a DIRECTV customer at a later date. You must maintain your DIRECTV account to view your purchased content,” the FAQ reads, adding that DirecTV purchases are non-transferable, meaning they also won’t be available to customers who change to DirecTV Now, AT&T’s new OTT TV service.
Comcast gets around this by letting consumers access purchased content via the company’s recently relaunched and unified Xfinity Stream web portal and Xfinity Stream mobile apps even after they disconnect services (Comcast previously handled that through a separate app called On Demand Purchases). Verizon has a similar policy in place that lets consumers view purchased content so long as they maintain a Fios account user ID and password.
DirecTV said the Lego Batman Movie is one of “hundreds” of movies and TV shows that can be purchased directly from the pay TV provider, so long as they have an internet-connected Genie HD DVR. The number of titles available for purchase from DirecTV is expected to rise to the “thousands” by year-end.
Currently DirecTV customers can’t buy whole seasons of series of TV shows, but can purchase episodes individually.
At launch, purchased movies and shows from DirecTV are available for viewing on receivers at home. “In the coming weeks, DirecTV customers will be able to purchase and download their favorite movies to watch on the go or online on laptops , tablets and smartphones,” DirecTV said.
Content available for purchase from DirecTV is in HD, with a smaller subset of titles offered in 4K.
To help prime the pump, DirecTV is offering The Lego Movie for $7.99 (discounted from a regular price of $19.99) and is also offering a credit up to $10 when customers make their first EST purchase through May 25.
DirecTV has posted this promo video about the new EST opton: