AT&T WatchTV may seem like an attractive service at just $15 per month. However, if you’re hoping to cut the cord while still getting access to your local TV networks, WatchTV may not be right for you. Read on to learn more about AT&T WatchTV local channels, as well as alternative options to get local channels if you choose to subscribe to this cheap internet TV streaming service.
What AT&T WatchTV Channels Are Available?
Unfortunately, you can’t get any local channels through AT&T WatchTV. There’s a very good reason for this, however.
AT&T WatchTV is a low-cost service focused on entertainment channels. You can also tack on some premium networks like HBO and Showtime for an added price, but the core, the $15 per month package only includes a selection of entertainment and some cable TV news networks.
Local channels are costly to offer
AT&T WatchTV was designed to compete with the more popular Philo internet TV streaming service. The approach works specifically by cutting out the channels that cost the most to offer, instead focusing on those TV networks that can be broadcast inexpensively.
That means no sports channels, like ESPN, which often charge quite a bit of money for carriage rights. Unfortunately, it also means no local channels, which also tend to charge a lot of money to broadcast per customer.
The end result for services like AT&T WatchTV and Philo is a lot of channels on offer (30+ for WatchTV, 55+ for Philo), but a low-cost package that does not include sports or locals.
Pair AT&T WatchTV with a Digital Over-the-Air (OTA) Antenna
If you’re considering AT&T WtachTV, but you’re hesitant about its lack of local channels, you may want to consider pairing the service with a digital over-the-air (OTA) antenna. An upgraded version of the “rabbit ear” antennas from decades ago, digital OTA antennas connect to your TV and help you receive digital OTA broadcasts from potentially dozens of channels in your area.
There’s no subscription fee for OTA channels. Your only purchase cost is the antenna equipment, which can be as cheap as $15, though some long-range antennas may cost up to $100. As with most technology products, the higher price is often associated with better functionality, and with digital OTA antennas, a higher cost usually means you’ll be able to pick up more channels and receive better quality.
You may even want to pair your digital OTA antenna with a standalone DVR that lets you record your live TV shows. A lot of options exist, including Tablo, which is highly popular among cord-cutters who go this route.
Most popular networks will be available regardless of which digital OTA antenna you purchase, however, as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, The CW, and PBS are available in most cities across the US.
Are There AT&T WatchTV Alternatives Offering Local Channels?
AT&T WatchTV may not have the local channels you’re hoping to keep after cutting the cord, but you’ll find that there are plenty of other options on the market. AT&T WatchTV and its closest competitor, Philo, are the only two popular internet TV services that offer no local channels at all.
To compare what channels are available through different internet TV services, we recommend using our Cord Cutter Express tool. All you need to do is select the channels you want, including cable and local channels, as well as a few key features. You’ll then see a visual comparison of channel packages from different services, making it easy and fast to determine which internet TV service best fits your needs.
Tech, video games, and a good book. I love all of them, and I'd write about all of them if I had the chance! I've been a teacher in the past, now a writer for tech-related news, guides, and information.