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AT&T is losing tons of customers, so of course it’s raising its prices again

AT&T raising DirecTV prices

Heads up, AT&T customers. We’re just a few weeks away from the start of a new year, which will bring changes to many of your DirecTV and U-verse TV packages, and that, unfortunately, will mean higher bills.

In spite of the fact that, as noted by Ars Technica this week, AT&T also implemented a price increase this past January that contributed to a loss of almost 5 million TV customers since the end of 2016, the coming price hikes will include an increase of up to $8/month starting January 19 for DirecTV’s Premier plan that already costs $189/month. “Because our programming costs went up, we have to raise our monthly prices for select packages starting January 19, 2020,” AT&T explains in a notice, which you can read here.

Among the changes to look out for, if you’re a DirecTV customer:

  • The Regional Sports Network fee is going up by as much as $2, meaning the increase we noted above will end up being $10/month for some customers.
  • Also explained in the notice highlighted above, which is entitled “TV Price Changes for 2020,” the Ultimate package that currently costs $135/month is going up by $7; the $81/month Select package is getting a $4/month increase, as is the $93 Entertainment package. Meanwhile, basic TV plans will go up by $1/month or $3/month.
  • If you’re still under promotional pricing, you can relax a little. The notice stresses that the increases won’t apply to you and that you’ll “keep that discount until it expires.” The window of time for that promotional pricing is generally a year and saves customers as much as $55/month.

For U-verse customers:

  • The U-family plan that now costs $84.99/month is going up by $3.
  • The U-200 ($107/month) and U-300 ($124/month) plans will see a $5 increase, while the $154/month U-450 plan is getting a $7 price hike.
  • Additionally, the Broadcast TV fee (currently $6.99 or $7.99) is going up by $2 a month.

Per Ars, the increases also come at something of an unfortunate time for the company — which, in the most recent quarter, saw AT&T lose more than 1.3 million satellite and wireline TV customers. It’s unfortunate that companies respond to changing business conditions by passing along increased costs to loyal customers who remain, but such has generally been the way of things for a while now in this industry, leading to that vicious cycle of customer losses and prices hikes, and more customer losses and more price hikes.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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