AT&T is attempting to clean up its struggling pay-TV business, sunsetting its live TV subscription streaming service AT&T TV Now—in favor of its newer AT&T TV broadband service.
The operator is no longer offering the virtual MVPD service to new customers, though current subscribers still have access, at least as of now. In an update on its website, AT&T said the service “has merged with AT&T TV to bring you the best live and on-demand experience!”
“We’re bringing more value and simplicity by merging these two streaming services into a single AT&T TV experience,” Vince Torres, svp of marketing at AT&T, said in a statement. “Customers can stream the best collection of live and on-demand programming on devices they already have, or they can get our exclusive AT&T TV stream device to enjoy enhanced features and functionality.”
The move comes after the telco’s entertainment group, which includes video and broadband services DirecTV, U-Verse and AT&T TV, lost a combined 590,000 subscribers in the third quarter—with AT&T TV Now responsible for 37,000 of that. The company is now pointing those customers towards AT&T TV, which was first introduced in select markets in summer 2019 before becoming widely available in March 2020.
AT&T launched the live streaming service AT&T TV Now back in December 2016 as DirecTV Now, following the company’s acquisition of DirecTV in 2015, before rebranding to its current name in summer 2019. The service, which was just $35 per month at launch, in an effort to attract cordcutters, was most recently available for $55 monthly.
It’s indicative of AT&T’s realignment to focus its strategy around products AT&T TV and its streaming service HBO Max. When the broadband product first rolled out, it required a two-year contract (that requirement was dropped today) and monthly prices nearly doubled after the first 12 months: jumping from $49.99 to $93. It did come with a custom Android-based set-top and voice remote.
The newest AT&T TV bundles offer three tiers at monthly prices of $70, $85 and $95, with the top two packages including HBO Max for a year at no extra cost. The most basic tier includes more than 65 channels, 40,000 on-demand titles and 20 hours of DVR storage, but no streaming box. AT&T said this tier has 20 more channels than AT&T TV Now’s entry level package.