In another sign its Pay TV strategy is failing to win over viewers, AT&T has stopped offering AT&T TV Now, its live TV streaming bundle, to new customers.
AT&T TV Now first launched in 2016 under the “DirecTV Now” banner, with about 100 channels available for $35 a month. It was later rebranded in 2019. The bundle was supposed to help offset cord-cutting losses suffered by DirecTV, but has struggled to meet that goal, as the service has changed its pricing structure and channel offering a number of times in the last few years. Heading into 2021, AT&T TV Now was charging users $55 per month for a base package of around 50 channels, while more expensive tiers, which include packages with HBO, could touch $80 per month.
Moving forward, AT&T TV Now will be available to existing customers for the time being, but new signups aren’t allowed. AT&T is instead pushing customers towards AT&T TV, which looks more similar to a regular DirecTV deal with its two-year contract and a proprietary streaming box. (AT&T TV Now didn’t have contracts for its customers.) AT&T, in an update on its website this week, notified users AT&T TV Now wouldn’t be available for new signups.
“AT&T TV Now has merged with AT&T TV to bring you the best live and on-demand experience,” the company said.
The service by mid 2018 had 1.86 million customers, but that figure had dwindled to less than 700,000 by late 2020. AT&T’s decision to sunset AT&T TV Now comes as the company has been looking to potentially offload its DirecTV business entirely. During Q3 2020, the most recent quarter figures are available for, AT&T lost 590,000 “premium” TV customers, a category that includes DirecTV and AT&T TV; 37,000 people ditched their AT&T TV Now service during that same quarter.
AT&T’s stock price was down 0.36% during early trading on Tuesday, hitting $28.76 per share.