Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

AT&T’s online TV price increase screws over the customers the company needs the most

Published Oct 26th, 2019 2:07PM EDT
Image: Francis Dean/Shutterstock

AT&T is bleeding TV customers, with no end in sight to the losses as subscriber numbers continue to plummet. AT&T said in September it expected to lose a little more than 1 million TV customers in the third quarter, while the company’s plan to address the losses relies on a familiar solution in the Netflix age: TV delivered online, in this case via AT&T TV Now, the service formerly known as DirecTV Now.

Unfortunately, though, AT&T may be in danger of turning off the very customers it needs right now, thanks to more than one online TV price increase that’s year — price hikes that mean some customers’ bills are now 50% higher than they were earlier this year.

The price hikes are hitting both new and existing AT&T TV Now customers. Among the highlights to know:

If you subscribe to the service’s “Plus” package, that bill is set to go up $15, to $65/month starting in November. Grandfathered customers on older plans are apparently likewise getting hit, per social media mentions from users — like one Redditor who said he’d been told his bill is going up from $50 to $85. “We’re adjusting our pricing to reflect the cost to deliver content to our customers,” an AT&T spokesperson told Variety in recent days. “Customers can contact us at any time to review their plans or make account changes.”

This all comes as AT&T is also dealing with a lawsuit in which it’s being accused of having used shady tactics to pump up DirecTV Now’s numbers.

In 2016, the company launched DirecTV Now and then rebranded it under the AT&T Now moniker this summer. In the early days of the streaming service, when it still carried the DirecTV Now branding, customers at one time could sign up for only $35/month.

Meanwhile, customers also got hit with a $10 price hike seven months ago. Those on the 65-channel “Live a Little” plan saw their bills go up from $40 to $50, and they’re now set to go up again to $60 next month (a 50% increase overall since April). Among other increases, the monthly bill for the 60-channel “Max” plan is climbing from $70 to $80, while those plans at the higher end (between $86 and $135/month) are staying the same, per Ars Technica.

No wonder AT&T Now, which is an Internet-delivered alternative to satellite TV, has seen its subscriber numbers slip from a little less than 2 million to 1.3 million over the past year.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.