AT&T TV Now, the live streaming service, is no longer available to new customers and has merged with AT&T TV, according to its web site. AT&T says service for current AT&T TV Now subscribers will continue.
In addition, AT&T has raised AT&T TV’s programming prices, eliminated its regional sports fee for most plans, and terminated its two-year contract requirement which included a $15 a month penalty for cancelling early.
AT&T TV’s new pricing for its three main packages:
* Entertainment plan (65 channels), which was $59.99 a month for the first year, and $93 a month in year two, is now $69.99 a month with no contract;
* Choice plan (90 channels), which was $64.99 a month for the first year, and $110 a month in year two, is now $84.99 a month with no contract;
* Ultimate package (130 channels), which was $94 a month for the first year, and $135 a month in year two, is now $94.99 a month with no contract.
“AT&T TV NOW has merged with AT&T TV to bring you the best live and on-demand experience! Get more of what you love, including no annual contract, simple pricing with no hidden fees; watch on devices you already have — anytime, anywhere,” AT&T says at the AT&T TV web site.
AT&T launched AT&T TV Now in November 2016, saying that streaming was the future of television. Thanks largely to low promotional prices ($10 a month for the first three months), AT&T TV Now’s subscription numbers soared in the first two years, reaching nearly two million. However, after AT&T eliminated the promotional pricing, AT&T TV Now’s subs declined sharply and the company reported that it had just 683,000 after the third quarter of 2020.
The company started AT&T TV in trial markets in 2019 and took it nationwide last March. AT&T TV is an Internet-based service that offers programming packages over a company-supplied set-top, but you can also watch AT&T TV on tablets, smart phones and some streaming devices using an AT&T TV app.
At launch, AT&T said it hoped AT&T TV would attract new customers, and persuade current DIRECTV subs to switch to a service that is less expensive for the company to operate. However, the AT&T TV web site says the service is now not available to DIRECTV and U-verse customers.
That change could have something to do with reports that AT&T is trying to sell DIRECTV and U-verse and perhaps focus exclusively on streaming, including HBO Max and AT&T TV.
While AT&T has eliminated the AT&T TV contract, it will require subscribers to pay $5 a month for each AT&T set-top. You can avoid the fee by using your own streaming device, such as Roku. The regional sports fee is included in the Choice plan and above.
The company says new customers can still get a lower monthly price for the first year, no AT&T TV set-top fee, and 500 hours of DVR storage, if they agree to a two-year contract. The two-year contract offers do include a $8.49 a month regional sports fee in the Choice plan or above.
But the contract is no longer required to subscribe. In the no-contract plans, subscribers get 20 hours of free DVR storage; the 500 hours requires a $10 a month fee.
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— Phillip Swann