AT&T kills off the failed TV service formerly known as DirecTV Now

A large AT&T logo seen on the outside of its corporate offices.
Amplify / AT&T company workplaces on November 10, 2020, in El Segundo, California.

AT&T is killing off the online-video carrier previously referred to as DirecTV Now and introducing a no-contract possibility for the more moderen on-line carrier that changed it.

AT&T unveiled DirecTV Now past due in 2016, the yr after AT&T purchased the DirecTV satellite tv for pc corporate. Costs at the beginning began at $35 a month for the live-TV on-line carrier, and it had signed up 1.86 million subscribers via Q3 2018. However shoppers briefly fled as AT&T again and again raised costs and reduce down on using promotional offers, leaving the carrier with simply 683,000 subscribers on the finish of Q3 2020.

In 2019, AT&T modified the title from DirecTV Now to AT&T TV Now, growing confusion amongst shoppers and its personal workers for the reason that corporate concurrently unveiled some other on-line streaming carrier known as AT&T TV.

AT&T TV used to be pitched as a extra powerful substitute for satellite tv for pc TV, and it even mimicked cable and satellite tv for pc via enforcing contracts, hidden charges, and a large second-year value hike. Going ahead, AT&T TV Now will now not be presented to new shoppers, and AT&T TV would be the flagship for AT&T’s live-TV streaming trade. “AT&T TV Now has merged with AT&T TV,” the carrier’s website online says in an replace flagged in a information article via TV Resolution Guy the day past.

For present customers, “AT&T TV Now shoppers’ carrier and plans stay in impact” with none adjustments, an AT&T spokesperson advised Ars. “We haven’t any different value adjustments to announce presently.”

Convoluted pricing, an AT&T custom

Prior to now, AT&T TV used to be most effective to be had with a freelance. There’s now a no-contract possibility that prices extra within the first yr however might be inexpensive in the end if shoppers use it for a couple of years.

The no-contract AT&T TV costs are $69.99 monthly for 65 channels; $84.99 for 90 channels and three hundred and sixty five days of HBO Max; $94.99 for 130 channels and three hundred and sixty five days of HBO Max; and $139.99 for 140 channels and HBO Max with out the one-year cut-off date. There is not any regional sports activities community rate in those programs.

The primary-year costs for contract plans vary from $59.99 to $129.99, plus a regional sports activities community rate of as much as $eight.49 for all programs excluding the most cost effective one. Together with the sports activities rate, the first-year costs on many of the contract plans are $10 or so inexpensive than the identical no-contract choices. An exception is the “premier” package deal with 140 channels and HBO Max, which prices about $140 the 1st yr irrespective of whether or not you’ve got a freelance or now not.

Consumers who make a selection the two-year contract gets a large value hike the second one yr, with base costs starting from $93 to $183 monthly plus the sports activities rate. The second one-year costs may just in truth be greater than that since it is in keeping with the “then-prevailing charge,” which AT&T may just alternate. The contract possibility additionally calls for a $19.95 activation rate and an early termination rate of $15 for every month last at the contract.

Costs can alternate at any time

There is not any computerized value building up after 12 months for the no-contract possibility, however that’s not a make sure that costs may not upward thrust. AT&T’s positive print says that “pricing, channels, options, and phrases are topic to modify and is also changed or discontinued at any time with out realize.”

There may be some other issue that makes the no-contract value $10 upper if you need numerous cloud-DVR garage. Whilst the contract possibility comes with 500 hours of cloud DVR garage, the no-contract possibility most effective comes with 20 hours until you pay an additional $10 monthly to improve to 500 hours. The contract possibility additionally comes with one unfastened AT&T TV software, which prices $five monthly for 24 months at the no-contract plan. 3rd-party streaming units additionally paintings with the carrier, so there is no requirement to shop for this.

There is not any value alternate presently for present AT&T TV shoppers. In spite of the brand new no-contract possibility, the contracts for present AT&T TV shoppers “stay in impact,” AT&T advised Ars. As is all the time the case with AT&T TV products and services, the pricing tiers are convoluted, so new shoppers must read about them sparsely prior to signing up. This desk supplies a breakdown of key variations between contract and no-contract choices:


Multimillion-customer exodus

For monetary reporting functions, AT&T TV is a part of a class AT&T calls “Top rate TV” products and services, which additionally comprises DirecTV satellite tv for pc and U-verse wireline TV. AT&T has misplaced just about eight million shoppers from the class prior to now few years, losing from over 25 million in early 2017 to 17.1 million on the finish of September 2020.

Extra visitor losses might be at the means, as AT&T is elevating costs on each DirecTV and U-verse efficient January 17. AT&T is attempting to promote DirecTV, however provides thus far have reportedly valued the satellite tv for pc supplier at a few 3rd of the $49 billion AT&T paid in 2015.

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