AT&T brings cable TV prices to online streaming with $135 monthly plan

/ An AT&T store in Chicago.

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AT&T is now charging up to $135 a month for the online video service formerly known as DirecTV Now.

DirecTV Now with plans ranging from $35 to $70 a month for 60 to 120 channels. There have been several and a since, resulting in AT&T offering just of $50 a month for 45 channels and $70 a month for 60 channels.

Further Reading

This week, AT&T completed the from DirecTV Now to “AT&T TV Now.” The $50 and $70 plans still exist, but customers can also get 65 channels for $93 a month, 85 channels for $110, 105 channels for $124, or 125 channels for $135. There‘s also a Spanish-language plan called Óptimo Más with 90 channels for $86 a month.

/ AT&T TV Now prices.AT&T

Channel lineups on the $50 and $70 plans include HBO, but HBO costs $15 extra each month on the more expensive plans. Full channel lineups for each of these plans are available at .

The plans come with 20 hours of Cloud DVR storage. The standard prices allow streaming on two devices at the same time. You can make that three simultaneous devices for $5 a month extra.

Even AT&T‘s DirecTV satellite plans have lower per-channel , ranging from $60 a month for 155 channels to $135 for 330 channels as of today. But those prices don‘t include an assortment of add-on fees, and the prices rise after 12 months when the discounts expire.

Correction: We thought the $93 to $135 plans were rolled out this week, but it turns out they existed for a few months while the service was still called DirecTV Now. Cord Cutters ran a . But AT&T this week did roll out a second set of plans, including another one that will cost $135 a month after discounts expire. Those are detailed in the next section of this article.

AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV are different things

In its quest to make choosing a streaming TV package as confusing as possible, AT&T has separate online services called AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV. They‘re both expensive, but AT&T TV without the Now also has the contract annoyances and add-on fees common in cable and satellite TV packages.

Unlike AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV is available only in a few cities so far, namely Orange and Riverside in California; West Palm Beach, Florida; Topeka and Wichita in Kansas; St. Louis and Springfield in Missouri; and Corpus Christi, El Paso, and Odessa in Texas. It will roll out to more cities later.

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AT&T TV is sold as a standalone service or in bundles with AT&T Internet. Similar to cable or DirecTV satellite, AT&T TV pushes customers to sign two-year contracts that lock in a discounted price for the first 12 months. A $20 activation fee and early termination fees apply. This service uses an AT&T streaming TV box but also works on the AT&T TV app for , , , and (including Apple TV).

More details on prices and channel lineups for AT&T TV are available . Here‘s a to the channel lineup.

/ Prices for several AT&T TV channel packages.AT&T TV

AT&T claims on its website that it‘s “redefining TV,” but it looks more like AT&T is recreating cable on a streaming platform. The advertised monthly rate for AT&T TV ranges from $59.99 to $79.99 a month, but those prices don‘t include taxes and add-on fees, and the base prices are raised significantly after 12 months.

For example, the $59.99 plans costs $93 a month after the first year is up. The $64.99 plan costs $110 after the first year, the $74.99 plan costs $124 after the first year, and the $79.99 plan costs $135 after the first year. The second-year prices could end up being even more than that, as AT&T says it will apply whatever the “prevailing rate” is when your discount expires.

Those prices don‘t includes taxes, they don‘t include the Regional Sports Fee of up to $8.49 a month, and they also don‘t include “certain other additional fees and charges.” You can avoid the sports fee by buying the lowest-priced package, as it doesn‘t include regional sports networks.

Further Reading

The advertised prices do include one AT&T TV streaming box. Each extra streaming box $120 in a lump sum or $10 a month over 12 months.

In summary, AT&T has taken many of the pricing annoyances that consumers hate about cable and satellite TV and brought them to online streaming. This strategy might raise the average amount AT&T makes from each TV customer, but it isn‘t likely to help AT&T stop the steady exodus of customers from its TV services.

As we wrote , AT&T lost 946,000 TV subscribers in Q2 2019 after announcing a series of price increases. Including DirecTV satellite, U-verse TV, and streaming TV plans, AT&T‘s total number of video subscribers dropped from 25.4 million in Q2 2018 to 22.9 million in Q2 2019.

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