DIRECTV’s 2021 price increase for existing subscribers went into effect over the weekend, but the satcaster is keeping its first-year promo prices for new customers.

AT&T, which owns the satellite TV service, on Sunday officially raised prices on most DIRECTV programming packages for existing customers by $1 a month to $9 a month. The company first announced in November 2020 that it would raise prices for existing subs starting on January 17, 2021.

However, DIRECTV’s first-year promo prices for new subs have not changed. If you order DIRECTV’s Entertainment plan, the first-year price is still $64.99 a month; the Choice package is still $69.99 a month; and the Ultimate plan is still $84.99 a month.

New subscribers must agree to a two-year contract to get the promo prices (and other incentives, such as free NFL Sunday Ticket and NBA League Pass). While DIRECTV’s first year prices for new customers have not increased, the fine print of the agreement does show a second-year increase in the promotional plans. Entertainment is now $102 a month in year two, compared to $97 a month before the hike; Choice is now $122 a month in year two compared to $115 before; and Ultimate is $151 a month in year two, compared to $142 a month before.

AT&T’s decision to keep the one-year promotional prices for new subscribers shows that the company is still aggressively trying to generate new business for its flailing satellite service. The Choice plan and above includes the free Sunday Ticket and League Pass as well as a free year of HBO Max and three months free of Cinemax, Showtime, Starz and Epix.

DIRECTV has lost roughly six million subscribers since AT&T purchased it in 20015, and multiple news reports say the telco is seeking bids to purchase a minority or majority stake in the satcaster.

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— Phillip Swann