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AT&T is blowing up DirecTV Now with price hikes and plan changes

AT&T is blowing up DirecTV Now with price hikes and plan changes
[Photo: JESHOOTS.com/Pexels]

AT&T is reportedly stripping away channels and raising prices for DirecTV Now as it tries to make the live TV streaming service profitable.

As first reported by Cord Cutters News, and later by TechCrunch, existing DirecTV Now subscribers will get to keep their current channel lineups, but will pay an extra $10 per month from April 12 onward. The changes are much more substantial for new customers from March 12 onward, as AT&T is replacing its current four-tier offering with two new plans, called DirecTV Now Plus and DirecTV Now Max.

DirecTV Now Plus will cost $50 per month for over 40 channels, including local broadcasts, the major cable news networks, and several national sports channels (ESPN, FS1, and NBCSN). DirecTV Now Max will cost $70 per month and adds more sports channels, including regional sports. Both plans will include HBO and Boomerang, which AT&T acquired through Time Warner, and the Max plan will include Cinemax as well. As for what’s leaving, the new plans won’t include any channels from AMC, A&E, Discovery, or Viacom. League-specific sports channels such as NFL Network and NBA TV are out as well.

Reached for comment, an AT&T spokesperson said the company has nothing further to add at this time.

The changes to DirecTV Now don’t come as a major surprise, given that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said last year that the company planned to thin out its lineup and raise prices to $50 or $60 per month amid a bigger focus on profitability. Still, DirecTV Now is already losing subscribers in droves after earlier price hikes and the elimination of discounts for new subscribers. Between Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, FuboTV, PlayStation Vue, and Philo, there’s no shortage of other live TV services–many of them now cheaper–that cord-cutters can choose from instead.

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