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Home / Business / AT&T brings cable TV prices to online streaming with $ 135 monthly plan

AT&T brings cable TV prices to online streaming with $ 135 monthly plan

  An AT&T logo seen on the outside of a building.
Enlarge / An AT&T store in Chicago.

AT&T now charges up to $ 135 a month for the electronic video service formerly known as DirecTV Now.

DirecTV Now was launched in 2016 with plans ranging from $ 35 to $ 70 a month for 60 to 1

20 channels. There have been several price increases and a reduction in the number of channels since, which resulted in AT&T only having two packages of $ 50 a month for 45 channels and $ 70 a month for 60 channels.

This week, AT&T completed the name change from DirecTV Now to "AT&T TV Now." Plans for $ 50 and $ 70 still exist, but AT&T TV Now customers can also get 65 channels for $ 93 a month, 85 channels for $ 110, 105 channels for $ 124, or 125 channels for $ 135. It's also a Spanish-language plan called Óptimo Más with 90 channels for $ 86 a month.

  AT & amp; T TV Now prices. "Src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/ 08 / att-tv-now-prices-980x473.jpg "width =" 980 "height =" 473
Enlarge / AT&T TV Now prices.


Channel setups for $ 50 and $ 70 plans include HBO, but HBO costs $ 15 extra each month on the more expensive plans. Full channel setup for each of these plans is available at this link.

The plans come with 20 hours of Cloud DVR storage. Standard prices allow streaming on two units at the same time. You can make the three simultaneous units for $ 5 a month extra.

Even AT & T's DirecTV satellite plans have lower advertised prices per channel, from $ 60 per month for 155 channels to $ 135 for 330 channels per day. But these prices do not include a selection of additional fees, and prices rise after 12 months when the discounts expire.

Correction : We thought the $ 93 to $ 135 plans were rolled out this week, but it turns out they existed for a few months while the service was still called DirecTV Now. Cord Cutters ran a story about the new plans in March. But AT&T this week launched a new set of plans, including a new one that will cost $ 135 a month after the discounts expire. These are detailed in the next section of this article.

AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV are different things

In their quest to make choosing a TV package as confusing as possible, AT&T has separate online services called AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV. They are both expensive, but AT&T TV without Now also has contract disruptions and additional fees that are common in cable and satellite TV packages.

Unlike AT&T TV now, AT&T TV is only available in a few cities, namely Orange and Riverside, California; West Palm Beach, Florida; Topeka and Wichita in Kansas; St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri; and Corpus Christi, El Paso, and Odessa, Texas. It will roll out to more cities later.

AT&T TV is sold as a standalone service or bundled with AT&T Internet. Like cable or DirecTV satellite, AT&T TV is pushing customers to sign two-year contracts that lock in a discounted price for the first 12 months. A $ 20 activation fee and early termination fee. This service uses an AT&T streaming TV box, but also works on the AT&T TV app for Android, Roku, Fire TV and iOS (including Apple TV).

More details on AT&T TV pricing and channel setup are available here. Here is a direct link to the channel setup.

  Prices for multiple AT&T TV channel packages. "Src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/att-tv-prices-980x693.jpg "width =" 980 "height =" 693
Enlarge / Prices for several AT&T TV channel packages.


AT&T claims on its website that it is "redefining TV," but it looks more like AT&T recreates cable on a streaming platform. The announced monthly price for AT&T TV ranges from $ 59.99 to $ 79, 99 per month, but these prices do not include taxes and surcharges, and base rates are raised significantly after 12 months.

For example, the $ 59.99 plans cost $ 93 a month after the first year is up. costs $ 110 after the first year, the $ 74.99 plan costs $ 124 after the first year, and the $ 79.99 plan costs $ 135 after the first year. Second-year prices may end up being even more than that, as AT&T says it will apply no matter what the "prevailing rate" is when your discount expires.

These prices do not include taxes, they do not include the regional sports fee of up to $ 8.49 a month, nor do they include "certain other additional charges and fees. ”You can avoid sports fee by purchasing the lowest price package, since it does not include regional sports networks.

The prices announced include an AT&T TV streaming box. Each additional flow box apparently costs $ 120 in a lump sum or $ 10 a month over 12 months.

In summary, AT&T has taken many of the price hikes that consumers hate about cable and satellite TV and brought them to online streaming. This strategy may increase the average amount AT&T earns from each TV customer, but AT&T is not likely to help stop the evenly shifting of customers from their TV services.

As we wrote last month, AT&T lost 946,000 TV subscribers in Q2 2019 after announcing a series of price increases. Including DirecTV satellite, U-verse TV and streaming TV plans, AT & T's total video subscribers dropped from 25.4 million in Q2 2018 to 22.9 million in Q2 2019.

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