AT&T has confirmed that it is dramatically transforming the DirecTV Now streaming television service, starting today, by getting rid of the previously offered channel bundles, slimming down new programming plans and increasing prices. Hoping to make the difference, AT&T adds HBO to DirecTV Now's latest, smaller channel packages now starting at $ 50 per month. It's the most expensive base plan for the big five (DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, YouTube TV), but none of the others include HBO. The upgraded $ 70 Max package adds Cinemax and some more sports channels from ESPN and Fox.
Getting The Throne Game is right and everything, but the new plans hit many channels that potential customers can appreciate. Some of these include:
- A & E
- Animal Planet
- BBC America
- Comedy Central
- ] MTV
These are all the channels that were part of DirecTV Now's previous plans, but have completely gone with today's changes. AT&T at least currently says that existing customers will maintain access to their current channel packages as long as they remain with the service.
But if you cancel your subscription, there is nothing to get the older plans back (Live a Little, Just Right, Go Big, and Gotta Have It). Keeping these bundles – no longer offered new customers from today – will also be more expensive: AT&T will increase monthly rates by $ 10 across the board as of April 12. And if you are currently paying the extra $ 5 monthly fee to receive HBO, it will jump up to $ 15 with this month's bill. This is yet another example of AT&T rising prices after it is claimed that the acquisition of Time Warner would lead to reduced consumer prices. This is actually other hike for the DirecTV Now subscriptions. But AT&T will probably claim that if you already paid $ 50 for Live a Little and HBO before, this price will continue to work effectively with these renewed packages.
Why does this happen?
Like some of its competitors, AT&T has chosen to completely remove Viacom's range of cable networks in an effort to keep its own costs down. Only Sling TV continues to offer these channels among the big five. DirecTV Now is also the shedding Discovery channels.
Instead, it now largely focuses on the company's own WarnerMedia networks and from Fox and Comcast / NBCUniversal. Critically, the base $ 50 Plus plan still includes all four major broadcasters: ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. But it is not denied that the new DirecTV is now very different from what it was before. AT & T previously claimed it offered over 125 channels in the largest bundle. Now the number is topped a little over 50.
AT & T CEO Randall Stephenson has regularly stated that DirecTV Now's previous pricing and cable-like channel packages were unsustainable if the company wished the service to win. "We're talking $ 50 to $ 60," he said back in December. "We have learned this product, we think we know this market really, very well. We built a 2 million subscriber base. But we asked this DirecTV Now product to do too much work, so we thin out the content and get the price point right; get it where it is profitable. "
What else is changing?
Looking beyond the major changes in DirecTV Now's channel setup and pricing, other aspects of the service remain the same. It still allows three simultaneous streams, and it still offers a clouded DVR with up to 20 hours of storage. (Your shows will be stored for a maximum of 30 days.) Add-on Spanish channel packages are still available and there are optional Cinemax, Showtime and Starz subscriptions.
How many video streaming apps does AT&T have?
- DirecTV now (standalone subscription service, unconnected with satellite TV business)
- HBO now (standalone HBO subscription service)
- WatchTV (free for some unlimited data AT & T mobile customers, also available standalone)
- Still-revealed WarnerMedia streaming service