With its just-announced $85.4 billion-dollar acquisition of Time Warner as a backdrop, AT&T is adding to its already sizeable sponsorship portfolio on behalf of its new DirecTV Now streaming video service.

The telco giant, which acquired DirecTV in 2015, sponsored New York Comic Con on behalf of the soon-to-be-launched product. DirecTV Now is targeted at the more than 20 million U.S. households without traditional pay TV, an audience that may soon benefit from better pricing and packaging as a result of the Time Warner acquisition.

DirecTV Now plays a major role in AT&T’s video strategy: the product will become the company’s primary video platform in three to five years, according to a recent Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the strategy.

The product propels AT&T into the growing ranks of companies offering over-the-top services including Netflix, Amazon, Sony (PlayStation Vue) and Dish Network’s Sling TV.

“Streaming TV is definitely an emerging category, and one that’s not going away. Cord cutting is a very real thing, and entertainment companies are looking for ways to harness that audience as early as possible,” said Larry Settembrini, ReedPOP director of strategic accounts, who sold the DirecTV/NYCC deal.

The partnership builds on an existing partnership between ReedPOP and AT&T, which has sponsored the fan convention over the past few years.  

“We thought the entertainment demographic we have would be a good fit with the folks that DirecTV is targeting, and as it turned out, the timing was right. They were preparing to announce the DirecTV service, and the stars aligned.”

DirecTV Now activated New York Comic Con via presenting sponsorship of NYCC XP, a new digital engagement platform that allowed attendees to win prizes and compile photos and other NYCC content on their own personalized web site.

Attendees who tapped their RFID-equipped badge at eight “NYCC XP Towers” could win a range of prizes including a trip for two to NYCC 2017, one of five customized “Munny” figurines and front-row seats at panel discussions. Attendees also could participate in photo-ops that could be shared via their social media accounts and NYCC XP personalized page.

Participants could opt-in to receive follow-up marketing from DirecTV.

ReedPOP’s in-house activation team created the program from soup to nuts with assistance from FISH Technologies. “We were a one-stop shop. We were able to provide them exactly what they needed—there was no need for an outside creative or production agency.” 

The sponsorship included presenting status of the New York Comic Con digital app and branding on NYCC digital channels.

DirecTV did not respond to emails seeking comment by press time.