AT&T is killing off its skinny bundle AT&T TV Now service, less than 18 months after its introduction as a replacement for DirectTV Now. New customers can no longer sign up for the bundle, though existing users will be able to continue to use the service without disruptions, a spokesperson told Variety.
Users going to the AT&T TV Now site are now directed to sign up for AT&T TV, which has brought over some features from the now defunct service. “We’re bringing more value and simplicity by merging these two streaming services into a single AT&T TV experience,” AT&T’s senior VP of marketing Vince Torres told Variety.
To that end, it has eliminated the annual contract requirement for AT&T TV, and you’re no longer required to use AT&T’s own hardware. Rather, you’ll be able to use third-party devices, including a 4K Apple TV or Roku Streaming Stick 3800RT.
The main downside is that prices are considerably higher. The new service starts at $70 for a basic package with 65+ channels and goes up to $95 for 130+ channels “including regional sports networks,” according to AT&T’s website. That’s double AT&T TV Now’s price at launch, although it has climbed since then to the latest starting price of $55 per month with 45-plus channels.
AT&T TV Now, originally DirecTV Now, started off strongly in 2016, eventually leading the cord-cutting market by 2018. Due to extra costs in delivering content, however, it was forced to ramp up prices and by early 2019, the base price had jumped and the number of live channels cut considerably. By September 2020, the service had just an eight percent market share, far behind Hulu+ Live TV with 34 percent and YouTube TV with 26 percent, according to Antenna.