AT&T appears to be killing its AT&T TV Now packages, directing new customers to its similarly titled AT&T TV product. Yes, those are two different things.
As reported by Variety, the AT&T TV Now website now—which as recently as earlier this month still promoted live TV streaming packages—now splashes an ad for the company’s AT&T TV product, a hardware-based streaming service that launched last year. A notice on the page states that AT&T TV Now “merged with AT&T TV to bring you the best live and on-demand experience,” with additional language that AT&T TV Now plans are no longer an option for new customers. The page does state, however, that AT&T TV Now customers will still be able to access their accounts. An AT&T spokesperson confirmed to Gizmodo that these existing customers “will not experience any disruptions as part of this change.”
The spokesperson said that because the company is testing out a no-annual contract plan for AT&T TV, “it makes sense to consolidate the two experiences.”
As it relates to new customers, there are significant differences between the two products. With AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now), its two primary packages were a $55-per-month option with more than 45 channels and a premium $80-per-month package that included more than 60 channels as well as HBO Max. AT&T TV, meanwhile, offers several subscription packages that range from $70 to $95 per month or more, depending on whatever add-ons are included. The number of channels included is higher, however.
But AT&T TV also has a bunch of sneaky terms and fees that can make those seemingly decent streaming prices creep up pretty fast. Its streaming box can cost either $5 per month for 24 months or $120 per box, depending on which option the company determines you qualify for. Signing a two-year contract with AT&T TV, for example, will start you at $60 per month for the first year but will cost you $93 per month the year after. When Gizmodo reviewed the service and hardware last year around the time of AT&T TV’s launch, shady pricing was a primary concern.
A spokesperson for the company did confirm to Gizmodo that the companion box is not necessarily required for AT&T TV, and a full list of compatible devices can be viewed on its website.
At the very least, AT&T appears to be paring down its confounding marketing and product lineup. I guess that makes sense after the great HBO Go/Now/Max debacle of 2020.
Update: Added comment from AT&T, including information about whether the change will affect existing customers, a link to compatible devices, and additional context about the decision to merge the two products.