AT&T is Raising The Price of DIRECTV $10 a Month For New Subscribers

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Athlon646464, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    The math for AT&T TV is no different than it is for Directv satellite. They have NEVER tried compete with the cable bundle on price, because the cable bundle sells TV at a loss. There is no point in trying to compete for customers who have that option and value all cable/satellite providers equally, because as you say Directv will lose to those who can do math. If you care about PQ you aren't going to consider Comcast the equal of Directv. If you want NFLST you aren't going to consider any cable bundle the equal of Directv.

    If you look at it purely in dollars or cents, you will never choose Directv. So why should Directv offer an option that loses them money to chase those customers? If Uber offers rides to the airport at $20 because they are subsidizing them so much they lose $5 billion in a quarter, should the local cab company offer $20 rides that cost them $25 in expenses? Of course not, they should charge more and compete for customers who dislike Uber's business practices, are loyal to locally owned businesses or whatever.

    Where is written that a company needs to offer something that makes sense for every consumer? Apple seems to do pretty well even though there are a lot of people who would never spend anywhere near what they charge for a phone. They simply don't compete for the cheapskates at all. Not saying Directv is comparable to Apple, or they should try to emulate them in every way. But not trying to cover every market segment is a pretty basic fact of business. A full service restaurant doesn't try to compete with McDonalds on price, because they would go broke selling burgers for $2.99 no matter how many they sold!
     
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  2. ericknolls

    ericknolls Member

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    If you look at DIRECTV's lineup it is on par with rival services. I sometimes think their lineup is better. It has more variety. A lot of sports, religion, children's, news and special interest channels plus all the movie channels. The equipment is up to date. All my previous and current receivers worked like a charm. The DVR and remote functions and even recording are effortless. No complaints in that dept! Also, In the cheapest package you get the popular cable channels. I like that a lot. The MobileDVR is good when it works. In other cable systems - you have to find that popular channel in a higher more expensive tier. I do give them a high grade for the service. The price increases is what turns customers off.
     
  3. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

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    They absolutely have tried to compete on price for years. $300 visa cards and calling and getting easy discounts with a threat to switch were routine. In fact, when I routinely use to compare, for a five TV setup, Directv was always cheaper.

    Their thinking may have changed, but it will be to Directv's detriment. They appear to be trying to act like a premium service when they are NOT a premium service. No one is, the entire industry has been turned into a commodity (similarly to your example, smartphones....which is also now a declining market).

    Other than ST (which they will soon lose exclusivity), they offer nothing that everyone else offers. Their equipment (for the 2% that care) isn't any better than Charter or Dish, in fact it's probably worse. The number of people that care about the slightly better picture quality is so small it hardly matters (you can't use this forum or any of the others as a good representation...it's not). I haven't seen a commercial or ad campaign in years touting picture quality. They all compete on price.....AT&T included.

    The entire industry is a commodity and I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole if I was an investor.



     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  4. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    The "cable bundle" has changed over the years. Originally "cable" was all TV, with delivery included with the subscription price of the channels. Cable was expensive or limited in content (or both) since delivery was expensive and limited. When people talked about having cable, most were referring to cable TV - not cable Internet. That step was more expensive.

    Modern cable starts with delivery. Rates set on how much data you want delivered to your home. Oh, you want content? We can add that on. Selling delivery plus content instead of content with delivery. There are still cable operators who have not made the switch to the new model ... but "the future of cable" is delivery. And they will be happy to charge a delivery fee regardless of where the customer gets their content.
     
  5. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Yup, that's exactly where I think this is pointed. Right at Joe Sixpack and his cohorts.

    Rich
     
  6. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Never ceases to amaze me how gullible folks are. The way this is being marketed I would not be surprised if it was successful.

    Rich
     
  7. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Can't imagine sports fanatics buying it. I've tried damn near everything and nothing comes close to D*, this D*, when it comes to sports.

    Rich
     
  8. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, for sports fans it is hard to beat D* sat service though other cable/sat can fill many of the sports wants. For me, boxing and golf are the only sports of more than very casual interest. DAZN fill the boxing bill nicely if I were to cut the cord, haven’t found anything for golf in streaming.


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  9. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    The gift cards are still there now. On the website it shows $100, in my snail mail it offers $300. And of course the usual movie channels for 3 months and NFLST for some subscriptions. So yeah, for all ATT’s blathering about ‘low value’ customers, they haven’t exactly followed through with action.

    Well except for their new streaming service. Nearly the same price as their satellite service with fewer channels, no NFLST at all and no new customer deals but still a 2-year commitment.


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  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Here's an article I found interesting in the early hours today...AT&T brings cable TV prices to online streaming with $135 monthly plan

    Rich
     
  11. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I saw that too. I keep watching and thinking about cutting the cord, fortunately the way my cable/internet bundle is working I still have at least another year where it is cheaper than streaming for what I would want.

    I’m really not looking forward to streaming only. I like auto-skip on my Tivos and the fact that until a unit craps out, I can keep my recordings. I’ve learned to love not seeing ads on nearly all the shows I watch other than on the premium movie channels.

    Currently in addition to my cable subscription I have Netflix, Hulu basic, CBS All Access w/ads and Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime is basically a freebie since I get more than I pay for it just in the shipping costs I save.

    If I were to go to streaming today I would probably get Sling combo w/dvr ($45/month), and turn premiums on/off to binge watch series as they complete and run everything off my ATV4K. Of course as price increases come along with all the streamers that want to survive I might change that a bit too.

    In the back of my mind I keep thinking I ought to say ‘screw them all’ and drop subscription TV all together and just use the free ad-supported services and call it a day!


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  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    NF by itself is enough to keep most folks occupied and Hulu and AP just add to that. I like the CBS app too. Keep doing your homework, one of these days you'll figure out you don't really need that cable replacement service either. That's when you see a big drop off on your monthly bill.

    Rich
     
  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    If the way that AT&T TV is structured and priced in these few test markets so far is how it's going to be done when it rolls out nationwide, no AT&T TV is NOT going to be successful. Sure, it'll pick up whatever new subscribers that Uverse TV (which it will replace) otherwise would have. And it'll get some slice of the folks who would otherwise have signed up for DirecTV satellite at about the same price with the same 2-year contract but who prefer AT&T TV for one or more reasons (better box, no need for an ugly dish prone to weather outages, don't care about NFL Sunday Ticket, etc.).

    But if that's all that AT&T TV is able to attract, amidst a broad secular decline in cable TV subscribers nationwide, then we're talking about this new service never rising above being a marginal player for AT&T. I honestly couldn't see it EVER reaching even the number of subs that Uverse TV has today (which is what, 5-6 million?).

    Based on how it's currently structured, very few DirecTV satellite or Uverse TV customers are going to switch over to AT&T TV if that means taking a new 2-year contract with AT&T's stated prices. I mean, sure, the AT&T streaming box is nice and way ahead of the DirecTV and Uverse receivers in lots of ways (streaming apps, Google Assistant, no tuner conflicts when recording, more hours of whole-home DVR storage) but there are some downsides to AT&T TV too (90 day time limit on recordings, still missing some locals, no NFL ST, etc.).

    I believe that what we're seeing with AT&T TV right now, in terms of the channel packages, promo and regular pricing, and required 2-year contract, are all just placeholders while the company figures out the logistics of deploying this new product in a few places. And what they chose to use as the placeholder is basically just DirecTV but delivered via streaming.

    I still believe that once AT&T TV debuts nationwide in 4Q, it's going to look different and all the packages -- which will be a bit thinner than the traditional satellite packages -- will include the new HBO Max.

    I think AT&T's leadership was just anxious to get on with rolling out AT&T TV. The technology was ready and the soft launch this month is about 9-10 months later than when the service was originally supposed to launch (fall 2018). But AT&T is holding back on unveiling the actual long-term packages, pricing and policies they'll use with AT&T TV because they've yet to finish negotiating all the necessary carriage contracts and/or because they want to wait until they have the beta version of HBO Max ready to launch this fall. (Note that HBO Max is going to be unveiled for the media/Wall Street on Oct. 30. A beta version is supposed to launch in 4Q with the final version launching next spring.)
     
  14. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Unless more shows that are only on cable type channels or broadcast, I don’t think it will happen for me. Programs like Yellowstone and so forth are just so good I’d hate to not have them.
    One of the biggest issues facing the streaming services is how to offer enough to keep customers streaming and paying all the time, yet make a profit doing it. The people I personally know that have cut the cord are fiddling with subscribe/cancel/sub to something else ad nauseum. Content providers are in a pickle with that. In order to pay for good content they have to be profitable and the Willy-nilly nature of streaming is not proving to be profitable for any that I know of.
    I could live with streaming only during the day where the TV is more noise/movement in the house than anything else as I read or do chores or whatever. But in the evening I like to watch a few shows that are good enough to keep me interested.
    BTW, fiddling around on various ad-supported free streamers has been fun over the last few days. Between PlutoTV, Xumo, Imdb, Crackle and others some interesting shows are out there even if some of fairly old.


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  15. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Nashguy, you seem to think that ATT is really doing a lot of research before doing something. Personally it looks more like keep throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks. I don’t think they have much of a clue about what it will take to make the TV portion profitable going forward.
    In that, they aren’t alone. Cable companies have that same issue. Do they keep doing the linear TV side of the business with lower profits but lots of revenue, or do they say to hell with it and just do internet to keep more of the lowered revenue in their pockets?
    From a friend inside my cable company the only real incentive they are offering for retention is a free year of their phone service with maybe a tiny discount for TV/Internet bundle.


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  16. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    First impressions are important and AT&T TV did not made a good one.
     
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  17. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Yeah, I'd definitely agree that AT&T TV is not making a very good first impression based on how it's currently structured. But I wonder how important this first impression is. Honestly, it's just some of us geeks on the internet who even know about AT&T TV. It's not like they're advertising it yet.

    Well, I can certainly believe that large businesses evolve their plans as time goes by and conditions shift in the marketplace. But I simply can't believe that a business as large as AT&T is just making up plans for their major nationwide business lines as they go along, randomly moving from one idea to another every month, willy-nilly. I can understand how it might look that way, especially when you consider all the changes that they've made to DirecTV Now (just rebranded to AT&T TV Now) over the past 3 years since it was introduced. But I still believe that they've had a long-term general plan in place.

    And one of the reasons I believe that is because we've heard the same themes delivered from AT&T leaders in their public comments to Wall Street over the past couple of years: "TV is in a period of transition and AT&T will manage that transition, just as they managed the shift from landlines to wireless phone. Consumers are no longer willing to pay as much for traditional linear-channel cable TV and so AT&T will find ways to bring the cost curve down and pass along most of those savings to consumers in the form of lower prices."

    How will they bring the costs down? Three ways have repeatedly been described:

    • dramatically lower the cost of new customer acquisition through the use of cheap self-installed hardware (i.e. the AT&T TV streaming box)
    • thin out the content bundle (i.e. offer channel packages with fewer channels, likely more tightly focused on the most popular channels, with carriage costs held in check by aggressive negotiations on the part of AT&T, the nation's largest MVPD)
    • more fully exploit the use of more lucrative targeted advertising (Xandr) that is made possible on a fully internet streaming-based service in a way that cannot be done via satellite
    An even bigger trend that AT&T recognizes and will exploit is the fact that MOST money in the future of video entertainment will come from selling the content that you actually OWN, directly to consumers, not from bundling other companies' content/channels and reselling them. In other words, embracing the Netflix model rather than the traditional cable TV model. And that's what HBO Max is all about. It's just going to be a bundle of all the content that WarnerMedia owns. Yes, there will for years continue to be incremental revenue made from selling the cable bundle (via AT&T TV, DirecTV, etc.) but they mainly just want to sell you a bundle of their OWN content. That's why, come 2020 if not before, all the cable channel bundles that AT&T sells, whether via streaming or via satellite, will necessarily include HBO Max as a non-optional part of the package. They know that's their future and that's the stuff they'll make their real money on. If you want to get ESPN and CBS and HGTV too, fine, they'll sell you that on top of it but you'll HAVE to take HBO Max first, just like Disney/Hulu won't sell you a bundle of live cable channels without you first taking the Hulu on-demand service.

    Now, maybe AT&T has just been putting out disingenuous happy talk about stabilizing their cable TV losses. Maybe they realize that it's a fast-sinking ship that they can't really do anything about, in which case they're NOT going to try to make AT&T TV more cost-competitive as they've repeatedly said they would. Maybe they're just going to try to milk cable TV subscribers for as much as possible until the ship sinks. Continue on with the same 2-year contracts, the same bloated channel packages, the same high prices as DirecTV's always had, just offer all that via streaming too. And, oh yeah, bring the ARPUs up by reducing/phasing out promotional discounts. Frankly, I think this is the tact that both Verizon FiOS TV and Charter Spectrum TV are taking now. If you've noticed lately, both have increased their charges for hardware/DVR service and both are phasing out haggling for discounts on TV service. So I admit that it's possible that AT&T's leaders were lying to Wall Street about their plans for AT&T TV this whole time, or they suddenly made a strategic change of plans in the past few weeks since the most recent quarterly earnings call. But I tend to doubt it.

    Which is why I still believe that we've yet to see the REAL packages and prices that AT&T TV will offer once it officially launches nationwide this fall.

    For the record, here's my updated set of predictions for what AT&T will offer new subscribers by year-end:

    3 main channel packages, with all pricing being the regular everyday price that is charged from the first month forward (i.e. no more up-front promo pricing, although gift cards or other bonuses might be offered as inducements from time to time to increase sign-ups on AT&T TV and/or DirecTV with a contract):
    • Starter: $30 on AT&T TV Now / $40 on AT&T TV / $50 on DirecTV (same set of channels as AT&T Watch TV -- no locals, no sports -- plus HBO Max)
    • Plus: $50 on AT&T TV Now / $60 on AT&T TV / $70 on DirecTV (includes locals and the most popular cable channels but no RSNs)
    • Max: $70 on AT&T TV Now / $80 on AT&T TV / $90 on DirecTV (includes everything in Plus, along with RSNs, some additional sports channels, and a few additional entertainment channels)
    Themed add-on Extra Packs, available for $7-8 each, offer those less-popular channels not included in your base package.

    All packages include HBO Max, as well as the HBO linear channels. No extra fee for broadcast channels in Plus or Max. No extra fee for RSNs in Max.

    Free local OTA channels can be integrated into the Starter package via a modestly-priced network tuner device from AT&T TV (or the LCC device for DirecTV Genies). Plug in your own USB hard drive into the network tuner for free OTA DVR service as long as you remain a paying customer.

    Differences in features and commitments:
    • AT&T TV Now requires no contract but only has a 20-hour cloud DVR and does not come with a custom streaming box. Includes 2 simultaneous streams with extra streams costing $5 each. Not eligible for a bundling discount with AT&T Internet/Fiber.
    • AT&T TV requires a 1-year contract (same as the Uverse TV service it replaces) and has a 500-hour cloud DVR and comes with 1 (or 2?) free custom streaming boxes. Includes 3 simultaneous streams with extra streams costing $5 each. Provides a $10 bundling discount when combined with AT&T Internet/Fiber (making it cost the same as AT&T TV Now if you're on AT&T Internet/Fiber).
    • DirecTV requires a 2-year contract (in exchange for free pro installation) and comes with HD DVR service for 1 TV included (plus free access to the DirecTV mobile app for limited on-the-go access). Service to additional TVs costs $7 each. Not eligible for a bundling discount with AT&T Internet/Fiber.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  18. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    What about getting DTV customers to switch over to AT&T TV who have 4k and like watching DTV’s live sporting events and DTV’s other 4k channels? AT&T TV could have and option to rent new release movies in either 4k or 1080p in their movies section and not need channel 107 and channel 108. AT&T TV could the same option to watch certain TV shows in 4k in that TV show section under the discover section and not need channel 104.
     
  19. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    There is no indication right now that ATT TV has the 4K channels that Directv does
     
  20. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

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    I was saying they could have the TV shows and new release movies that are on channels 104, 107 and 108 on VOD so they wouldn’t need those 4k channels.
     

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