AT&T is winding down its AT&T TV Now live streaming service, and will push customers toward its similar-but-different AT&T TV service instead. While existing AT&T TV Now customers can keep using the service, it’s no longer available to new subscribers. The telco announced the move on its website, where it was first spotted by Phillip Swann.
Despite having nearly identical names, AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV were quite different. The former, which launched in late 2016 as DirecTV Now, offered a big bundle of channels with no contracts at prices competitive with other live TV streaming services, such as YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and Sling TV. The latter has been more of a direct replacement for AT&T’s satellite service, with a proprietary streaming box and two-year contracts that included significant price hikes at the halfway point.
With the winding down of AT&T TV Now, the telco appears to be making some of AT&T TV’s more consumer-hostile elements optional. Customers can now subscribe to the service without a contract at a somewhat higher up-front price, with the base package starting at $70 per month. The proprietary streaming box is also optional, and while 20 hours of cloud DVR storage is included, an expansion to 500 hours is now a $10 per month add-on unless customers agree to a two-year contract.
It’s worth noting that because YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and Fubo TV have all dropped regional Fox Sports networks from their lineups, AT&T TV is the last remaining way for cord-cutters to get those channels. But with the changes AT&T has made, the package with regional sports now costs $85 per month, which is $5 per month more than the version of AT&T TV Now that included those channels.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said AT&T’s service has become cheaper for regional sports. It is in fact more expensive, as AT&T TV’s base package does not include those channels.