Q. I read that DIRECTV Now is raising their prices again. What’s the point of getting streaming if they keep raising prices just like the cable and satellite guys? — Lorena, Deale, Maryland.
Lorena, you are correct. DIRECTV Now is alerting customers this week that it will raise its programming prices by $10 a month, starting next month. The increase will affect all packages including its base $40 a month plan, which will rise to $50 a month.
The price increase was first reported by Cord Cutters News, and confirmed by TechCrunch.com. According to the reports, for existing customers, DIRECTV Now’s Live a Little plan will go from $40 a month to $50 a month; the Just Right package will rise from $55 a month to $65 a month; the Go Big package will rise from $65 a month to $75 a month; and the Gotta Have It plan will increase from $75 a month to $85 a month.
And that’s not all. New customers will no longer be able to choose from four packages. Instead, there will only be two plans — DIRECTV Now Plus for $50 a month, and DIRECTV Now Max for $70 a month. (The saving grace here is that HBO will be included in both packages.)
AT&T last year signaled that another price increase was coming. (The company, which owns DIRECTV and DIRECTV Now, raised the base price last summer from $35 a month to $40 a month.) Company executives believe that it’s impossible to run a profitable streaming service without higher prices.
However, DIRECTV Now lost a net of 267,000 subscribers in the 2018 fourth quarter after the summer price increase, and the removal of promotional offers which allowed some customers to pay as little as $10 a month for the first three months. It’s hard to envision that the company will not lose thousands and thousands more with yet another price increase, particularly with rival Sling TV now offering a $15 a month promotional plan.
I suspect many DIRECTV Now subscribers, such as yourself, will conclude that streaming isn’t worth it without the low prices. After all, watching live TV over the Internet can still be a headache at times thanks to ongoing technical limitations.
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— Phillip Swann