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College Football in Your Uber Ride? AT&T is Making It Happen

18 Nov, 2015

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

The taxi industry – already feeling the pinch from Uber – just took a big hit. This one, however, is a flying tackle and it’s fueled by the sports industry. From now through the end of November, select Uber vehicles will be live-streaming college football games.

According to an article in MediaPost, AT&T has partnered with Uber to roll out connected car rides in four cities to let passengers watch college football games live from tablets in the backseat during their trips.

The reason this is possible is because AT&T acquired satellite-TV provider DirecTV in July. Under the partnership, ten Chevrolet Tahoe cars with AT&T wireless connectivity will do the rounds on four Saturdays in Detroit, Nashville, Houston and Atlanta in October and November.

And that’s not all. Reuters notes that the U.S. wireless industry hopes to tap into new revenue streams such as connected cars and devices for growth. Besides providing the essential pipes that deliver data, telecom players such as AT&T are looking to extract revenue from content.

And AT&T is looking to the future. The telecom giant has signed up nine automaker partners, including General Motors Co, Audi AG and Ford Motor Co, to hook up cars with Internet access. AT&T executives have said they have plans to bring exclusive content such as videos and games that can be streamed onto personal mobile devices to connected car users.

Uber riders can hail these connected cars by clicking on a custom tab in the ride-sharing app for no extra charge.

And here’s a surprise for sports fans: In a few cities, football stars such as former Pittsburg Steelers player Jerome Bettis and Dat Nyugen, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas A&M University teams, will make surprise appearances in cars.

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