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Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Athlon646464, Mar 9, 2019.
They moved them to the Entertainment, Choice, Xtra, and Ultimate packages. Not awesome.
The only conditions for the merger were related to broadband, and were for a term of four years - so they expire this summer. There were no conditions related to TV service.
There are now 2 main channel packages -- "Plus" and "Max" -- that DTV Now actively markets. Neither of them include channels from Discovery/Scripps, Viacom, AMC or A+E Networks.
However, it looks like all five of their original channel packages (4 English language and 1 Spanish language) are still available to new subscribers, just under different names, and they're basically hidden on the DTV Now website within the sign-up page. Those packages still retain channels from those four network groups but the package prices basically doubled, making them just as expensive as the regular non-promo pricing for DTV satellite packages, while having fewer channels and a worse DVR than satellite.
I found if you click the promo link at the top of their main page it takes you to the page with those packages.
Right. There are basically only two pages to the entire website: the front page, with general info about the service, and then the next page, where you sign up for service. The four old packages, now renamed to Entertainment, Choice, Xtra and Ultimate, are only mentioned on that sign-up page. And even there, they're hidden under a "See more packages" thing that you must click to reveal them.
I won my first 56k modern in some kind of contest. Life in the fast lane
You know for some funny reason. I think all these platforms AT&T is throwing out to the public is an effort to stifle competition. You have DIRECTV, DirectvNow, uVerse and soon a WarnerMedia equipped set top box or media server. They just dropped AMC, Viacom and the Discovery family of channels. What is that all about? Now this HBO dispute with DISH. This is what headwinds programmers and retransmission agreements are going to face with big bad AT&T. Agree to our terms or your out of here. The FCC and FTC should be alarmed by these early developments and keep a sharp eye on AT&T's aggressive actions. I don't think regulators gave AT&T sole authority to dictate whatever demands they put on a programmer or television provider just because they exclusively own the station or programming source. They need to walk back AT&T and stop a train wreck that is on a collision course down the road.
Contrary to what those poorly researched articles online are claiming, they did NOT drop those channels. They're still available in the packages that have been renamed to match their satellite counterparts. They were bound for a price increase anyway, since DTV Now first launched more and more channels have been added to them and now they're nearly on par with the Satellite versions of those packages cost wise. The DTV now versions are only missing 6 actual unique channels, outside of Music Choice and some RSNs whose contracts and/or streaming rights for games haven't caught up yet, the rest of the "missing" channels are mostly P/I or pay to play channels that you aren't paying for anyway. (See my post on the previous page of this thread for a more detailed explanation on that part)
There's these wonderful things called contracts. Contracts dictate package placement. In other words, they can't create new skinny packages and cherry pick only certain channels and omit others from the same owner without violating said contracts. The channels from Hallmark, Fox, NBCU and CBS had their contracts renewed recently so they're included, while for Disney, their contract was recently ammended as DTV was announced as one of the launch providers for the new ACC network earlier this week.
Guess who's contracts with AT&T are up for renewal real soon? In Viacom's case, next Friday, and A&E's next month. (In other words, all those investors who foolishly listened to those poorly researched takes on their channels missing from the skinny packages will be kicking themselves in the near future)
Want to know what happens when you ignore the contracts and try to launch skinny packages with their channels anyway? Just ask Verizon how well that lawsuit went for them.
You keep on bringing up these non-existant conditions of the Time Warner purchase. Read the replies, they have already been debunked. As for HBO that's a pricing dispute with Dish, there's already laws on the books that don't allow providers to withold channels they own from competitors. If Dish wants to they can file a lawsuit or seek arbitration. And HBO being owned by a competing MVPD isn't a new thing at all. For almost its entire history HBO has been owned by a MVPD. It started out as a channel owned by Sterling Manhattan Cable in the 70s that eventually became part of Time Warner Cable. It wasn't until 2009 when Time Warner Cable was spunoff that it was no longer owned by a MVPD. The same rules also apply to the Turner channels, ATTSN and even the Audience Network if a competing provider wanted to try to get carriage of it.
I'm skeptical that the recent moves by DTV Now have anything much to do with the timing of contract renewals, given that channels by Viacom, Discovery, AMC and A+E remain in their four renamed original packages.
Instead, I think those companies' exclusion from the two main Plus and Max packages have everything to do with AT&T's desire to reduce content costs while simultaneously increasing prices in a bid for profitability. If AT&T wanted to keep local affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, that meant that they had to pretty much keep all of those companies' cable channels that they were already carrying. So they did. And, of course, AT&T kept their own networks too (CNN, TBS, TNT, etc.). To add a bit more heft, they also kept just a few channels from smaller companies that they could include relatively cheaply: The Hallmark Channel, Accuweather, Ovation, and Revolt. And then they cut out everything else.
Just how DirecTV (and other providers) can't violate contract terms by cherry picking channels from the same owner to include and omitting others from that owner in newly created skinny packages, they also can't just drop those channels from existing packages without violating contracts. (Even if for whatever reason you refuse to believe this, we already have proven examples of this with well publicized lawsuits from other providers who tried to do it and lost)
It's NOT a coincidence that the channels they included are only the ones who had recent deals, INCLUDING those "cheap" channels like Hallmark (a few months ago around the time Hallmark Drama was added) and AccuWeather (last summer when it replaced WeatherNation). While the ones who haven't been renewed recently are not included.
I don't know if your familiar with my posts, what I know, or how often I've been correct about things that so called "anaylists" and certain "predictors of TV" got wrong. But if it involves contracts, renewal dates, carriage, launches, streaming rights/technology, etc, it's best to not be "skeptical" about the information I provide. Others here can vouch for that.
Honestly this was hinted at in December by Randall Stephenson that they would thin out the content and reset DTV Now's starting price to $50/mo to make it more profitable. KyL416 is pretty much hitting the nail on the head so to speak. The channels in the new Plus and Max packages for DTV Now are not a coincidence but at the same time DTV Now didn't drop any channels either. AT&T just restructured DTV Now's packages within the terms of their contracts is all.
My friend who works for a legacy DTV loyalty call center explained the changes to me like this:
Live A Little, Just Right, Go Big (Introductory Offer), Go Big (regular price), Gotta Have It and Todo y Mas are now retired and not available to new DTV Now subs. Existing DTV Now subs are grandfathered into their current package and will keep it as long as the DTV Now account remains active. All these package will increase by $10/mo in April.
If a customer switches from a grandfathered package to one of the new packages they can't switch back. There is no grace period.
Plus ($50/mo) and Max ($70) are DTV Now's new packages and is considered the lead offer for that service.
They will be the only packages AT&T offers any kind of introductory offers for like 1 month free, etc. to new subs.
DTV Now versions of Entertainment, Choice, Xtra, Ultimate and Optimo Mas are now available for DTV Now subs however these are priced the same as their satellite counterparts.
These packages are not eligible for introductory offers. If someone wants one of these packages but at a cheaper price refer to DirecTV (satellite).
If anyone has an add on that is increasing in price already on their account will continue to pay the original price as long as the add-on stays active on the account. If they remove the add on then add it back in the future they pay the new price in effect. An example he gave was if someone is paying $5 for HBO currently they will be locked into that price but if they remove HBO after the price increase takes effect then they will pay $15/mo for HBO to add it back.
He also said AT&T will make satellite versions of the Plus and Max packages available to customers who want DTV Satellite.
The satellite versions of Plus and Max will cost $110/mo and $130/mo respectively.
They include 1 Genie HD-DVR; any additional TVs is $7/mo.
The RSN fee is applicable to the Max (satellite) package
There will be no U-Verse TV equivalent of the Plus and Max packages.
The channel lineup for these two packages are exactly the same as their DTV Now counterparts except the satellite versions will get public interest and advertisement channels.
Plus and Max will only get HBO, HBO Family and HBO Latino included they will not receive any other HBO multiplex channels (like HBO Zone since it isn't available on DTV Now).
Max will only get Cinemax East and West. Max (satellite) package will not get any of the other Cinemax multiplex services.
These two packages are only available from att.com and require a 24 month agreement.
Agents at this time in store and in call centers can't sell these packages or switch existing customers to these packages.
These packages are not eligible for special offers. The price you see is the price you pay. This includes:
No new customer base package discounts (for the first 12 months)
No free NFL Sunday Ticket (can be added on at full cost)
No loyalty base package discount offers
Why do these "experts" get so testy over something that does not affect their life! I grew up hearing that Black Americans watch more television than any other group. If that is the case than who are all of you guys? Meh... Whatever.... I'll just eat my pork rinds and figure a way to sneak in to one of those "elite" universities. Or at least try! Vroooom....
OK so my next question....are these new DirecTV Now packages the DirecTV over IP that we have been hearing about? Or is that going to be something entirely different?
It kind of sounds like they aren't, that Directv is making them options for Directv Now and then there will still be this 'Directv over IP' product coming later that will use the Directv clients. Their streaming lineup is going to look like the section of the drug store where you have the million choices for different types of Colgate and Crest toothpaste. I will go the store and remember I need toothpaste, and know I use Colgate, but never am quite 100% sure about what I got last time, so there's a 50/50 chance I will get what I got before, or get something different
It is a strange situation. If I were releasing a "DIRECTV satellite via IP" product I'd do it with the DIRECTV brand name and package names that matched the satellite packages. Apparently that is what AT&T has (quietly) done. If this isn't "the" DIRECTV satellite over IP product then how will they market the real thing separately when the best names have been placed in use on the DIRECTV NOW product? They will need to improve the IP product to make it worth the price jump. Or they need to offer prices low enough that people will accept the new packages. I hope that they are not trying to confuse their customers ... especially when selling a "no commitment" service where people who don't get what they were expecting can be gone faster than they came.
From the hardware side they can still introduce their own equipment to provide a "better experience". But with prices set based on "bring your own equipment" how much will they charge for the new device? A high flat fee or a monthly rental? We're still not getting the answers.
I feel like we have stumbled into a new store before the grand opening where the shop is open but the company isn't promoting their service. They have left a void that has been filled by incorrect information ... poorly researched articles claiming channels were dropped because the two new low price packages don't include them. But I can't be too harsh on those authors since AT&T hasn't made an effort to promote the changes. Perhaps a press release will be sent out soon - or some clarifying advertising.
I fail to see the value proposition of these new IP packages from ATT. Let me give an example comparing the Ultimate package on both IP and Satellite:
IP - Ultimate - $135/month from day one, no discounts, fewer channels than are in the satellite version
Satellite - Ultimate - $60/month for 12 months, $135/month for 12 months, $300 gift card, includes one HDDVR, plus about $10/month in RSN and other fees. Monthly cost for 24 months: $95.
The single advantage of the IP over the satellite service is that you can cancel at any time with no penalty. What am I missing? What would make a potential customer pick the IP over the sat service?
If its the same price, yeah, picking streaming would be stupid. The sat service has a much better user experience. I don't need to try to aim my remote from across the room to a 10 pixel by 10 pixel square on the TV to click the pause button, I can just blindly click the pause button on my remote without even looking at it. Same for rewind, FF, replay, seek, etc.
If the DirecTV clients over IP work closer to the sat boxes and cable boxes then I might give it a try, but really if the services are the same price, I'll let other people iron out the kinks and I'll stick with the sat's. Well, at least until April / Sept when my discounts roll off and then I'll move to cox unless they re-up me .
As I showed, the price isn't the same, you actually pay more to get less with those new packages, again with the sole advantage being you can cancel at any time. Are many going to want to cancel and pick another service for awhile and keep doing that same dance over and over? I don't think so, or at least after a few times of doing that you or the significant other get tired of the differences between services.
Cutting the cord has mostly been about saving money and accepting the limitations it brings. ATT's new packages don't do that at all. Even their cheapest package @$50/month is no bargain compared to just about any other cable/sat replacement service.
Over the last couple of years, I have been hesitant to do ANYTHING that'll put me into a contract. Like throw out my HR24 for a HR54 because I'm worried about the price. I don't want to be stuck in a contract when they jack up the prices $7/yr. At least a Dish contract is actually a price lock. The DirecTV contracts are just for DirecTV. You at least get something with a Dish contract.