AT&T has officially launched AT&T TV, a streaming alternative to its DirecTV and U-verse services, in select U.S. markets. The service starts at $90 per month for TV and home internet and is available in Orange and Riverside, California; St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri; West Palm Beach, Florida; Topeka and Wichita, Kansas; and Corpus Christi, El Paso, and Odessa, Texas. Cord Cutters News reports that the service may roll out nationwide—presumably without home internet service—by the end of 2019. (Update: AT&T says it hasn’t announced a nationwide rollout, but does plan to expand into additional markets this year.)
Unlike AT&T TV Now, which was called DirecTV Now until earlier this month, and which runs on a wide range of streaming platforms, AT&T TV requires a streaming box distributed by the telco. One box is included with the service, but additional boxes cost $10 per month or $120 to purchase outright. Because they run Android TV, they also support other apps such as Netflix and Pandora, and they work with Google Assistant for voice commands.
Still, looking at the fine print for AT&T TV reveals plenty of traditional TV trickery. The introductory bundle pricing of $90 per month requires a two-year contract, and the price jumps to $133 per month in the second year. Meanwhile, a bundle with regional sports is listed at $95 per month, but that doesn’t include an $8.49 per month regional sports fee. AT&T is also offering three months of HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz at no charge, but they auto-renew at $48 per month unless you cancel.
With all that in mind, it’s unclear why a cord cutter would subscribe to this instead of choosing from a wider range of live TV services on another device such as Roku, but it probably beats installing a satellite dish, at least.