Q. I’ve had AT&T TV Now for more than a year and I just got an e-mail saying my prices are going up. What’s up with that? Why are they raising prices on us when they are losing so many customers? It doesn’t make sense. — Stella, Topeka. 

Stella, AT&T has alerted subscribers to AT&T TV Now, formerly known as DIRECTV Now, that they are raising prices on nearly all plans by $9.99 a month in their next bill. The rate hike affects all subscribers to AT&T TV Now, and those who used to subscribe to plans offered under the service when it was DIRECTV Now. The one exception is DIRECTV Now’s old ‘Gotta Have It Plan,” which will stay at $94.99 a month.

There are two reasons behind the increase.

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One, AT&T in January merged AT&T TV Now with AT&T TV, its sister streaming service. While subscribers to AT&T TV Now can keep their old accounts, AT&T wants to eventually phase out the older service. (AT&T TV Now is not taking new orders.) By raising prices now, AT&T is prodding existing AT&T TV Now customers to switch to AT&T TV. The company is willing to accept some defections if it means a faster consolidation of the two subscriber bases.

Two, AT&T TV Now’s new pricing structure is now closer to AT&T TV’s rates. (Previously, prices were lower for AT&T TV Now subscribers.) Here are AT&T TV’s plans and prices:

* Entertainment plan (65 channels) is $69.99 a month with no contract;
* Choice plan (90 channels) is $84.99 a month with no contract;
* Ultimate package (130 channels) is $94.99 a month with no contract.

By comparison, AT&T TV Now’s ‘Live a Little’ package, which is comparable to AT&T TV’s Entertainment plan, is going from $60 a month to $69.99 a month. The ‘Just Right’ package, which is similar to Choice, is going from $75 to $84.99. The ‘Gotta Have It” plan, which is akin to the Ultimate package, is staying at $94.99 a month, the same price as Ultimate.

So, Stella, sometimes there is a method to the madness of price increases.

Hope that makes sense. Happy viewing, and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann