AT&T TV Cities Now Listed on ATT Site

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by DirectMan, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Sep 2, 2019 #121 of 130
    lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    While I wouldn’t do it for one streaming service as none of them can fill my wants. Note I didn’t say ‘needs’. Since I currently sub to NF, Amazon, CBS, Hulu and Epix they aren’t part of the financial side of things as I’ve been doing them all for quite some time. And I signed up for the 3-year sub-$4/month deal for Disney+.

    With all of those, and the ad-supported free sites, I could find plenty to watch without much effort. But I couldn’t watch some of the things I want to watch without at minimum Sling Blue w/DVR.

    The one area I’m taking a hard look at is the premiums. Each of them has originals that I like, and that is what keeps me keeping them. But looking at my OnePasses on my Tivo, the list of those isn’t as many as I thought. So it indicates I should give serious consideration to cancelling them and just sub a month or two to binge watch a few series. Got to do some more thinking on that. If I were to cancel all the Premiums and the ‘extra packs’ in my cable deal, the bill would drop to $150 for internet/tv. Since internet alone is a bit over $100, that makes it an even better deal from a financial standpoint. It would also only be $20 more than Sling Blue but with much better DVR, ad auto skip, and more channels, some of which I would watch on occasion.

    Hmm.... I think I just talked myself out of streaming/OTA!! :)


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  2. Sep 2, 2019 #122 of 130
    techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    Nah I used an address from Riverside, CA to see what all the packages were and the available internet speeds were and the max was Internet 75. Fiber is usually Internet 100 - Internet 1000.

    Actually.... they do but at a much higher cost. My friend that works at the local AT&T call center explained it to me like this. Except for U-Verse TV and Watch TV the other 3 video services have 2 tiers of packages.
    • Featured Packages AT&T considers these to be the main packages for the respective video service and the ones they want that base to chose from.
    • Other Packages These are reactive packages and are only available if the customer signs up for a new account either through ATT.com (DirecTV/AT&T TV) or ATTTVNow.com (AT&T TV Now).
    He said for DirecTV, AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now this is how it works:
    • CSR agents and Retail store agents can sign customers up for any "Featured Packages" for DirecTV, AT&T TV (where available) and AT&T TV Now. These packages will receive the biggest push from AT&T and the most in terms of introductory discounts and possible loyalty offers. (Grandfathered & Retention base packages excluded from this list)
      • DirecTV Featured Packages: Select, Entertainment, Choice, Xtra, Ultimate, Premier, Mas Latino, Optimo Mas, Mas Ultra, Lo Maximo
      • AT&T TV Featured Packages: Entertainment, Choice, Xtra, Ultimate, Optimo Mas
      • AT&T TV Now Featured Packages: Plus and Max
    • Customers can only sign up for a reactive packages aka "Other Packages" by going to ATT.com (DirecTV/AT&T TV) or ATTTVNow.com and signing up for a brand new account. Existing customers can't switch to these packages and must cancel their current account, go online and sign up for a new account.
      • DirecTV Other Packages: Plus ($110/mo) and Max ($130/mo plus RSN fee) (Requires 24 month agreement; prorated ETF up to $480)
        • Includes 1 Genie DVR and Advance Receiver Services (HD/DVR/WH-DVR).
        • Additional TVs $7/mo.
        • Not eligible for base package discounts of any kind (includes new customer/loyalty discounts)
        • Not eligible for free NFL Sunday Ticket Max (new customers) or free base NFL Sunday Ticket (existing loyalty offer when available). Customers with these packages can add NFL Sunday Ticket or NFL Sunday Ticket Max on at regular price.
        • Eligible for premium offers (i.e. new customer 3 months free or existing customer upgrade offers)
      • AT&T TV Other Packages: Plus ($110/mo) and Max ($130/mo plus RSN fee) (Requires 24 month agreement; prorated ETF up to $360)
        • Includes 3 concurrent AT&T TV streams on any device, Cloud DVR with 500 hours of storage and 90 day retention and 1 AT&T TV device.
        • Additional AT&T TV devices can be purchased upfront for $120/device or $10/device/mo for 12 months.
        • Not eligible for base package discounts of any kind.
        • Eligible for premium offers (i.e. new customer 3 months free)
      • AT&TV TV Now Other Packages: Entertainment ($93/mo), Choice ($110/mo), Xtra ($124/mo), Ultimate ($135/mo), Optimo Mas ($86/mo)
        • Includes 2 concurrent AT&T TV Now streams on any device, Cloud DVR Beta with 20 hours of storage and 30 day retention.
        • No contract
        • Add a 3rd stream for $5/mo more
        • No RSN fee applied to Choice, Xtra or Ultimate
        • Not eligible for any base package discounts (i.e. when there is a $15 off for 2 month promo)
        • Is eligible for any hardware promotions when available (i.e. when pre-paying for 4 months to get a free Apple TV.
     
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  3. Sep 2, 2019 #123 of 130
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    That's AT&T's problem if they aren't following the law. They may simply be eating the sales tax on their end so they can advertise a national price. They are marking the C71KW's up enough they can easily afford it.
     
  4. Sep 3, 2019 #124 of 130
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Well, first, I'll point out that both AT&T TV and DirecTV (sat) currently DO offer new customers the Plus and Max packages, presumably with the same set of channels that those packages include on AT&T TV Now. But instead of charging everyday prices of $50 and $70 for them, respectively (as AT&T TV Now does), AT&T TV charges $100 and $120, respectively, while DTV charges $110 and $130, respectively. And then there's the RSN fee on top of those prices for the Max package, while there is no separate RSN fee for Max on AT&T TV Now.

    Why is AT&T offering the Plus and Max packages on DTV and AT&T TV? They've been listed in the DTV ordering system for a few months now and in the AT&T TV ordering system since its pilot launch on 8/19. And why are Plus and Max being priced so high on these services?

    I believe it's because, as I've repeatedly stated, Plus and Max are (as-yet-unfinished) building blocks within a new channel package line-up that will become the default, standard set of choices for new subscribers across ALL of AT&T's ongoing TV services: AT&T TV, DTV, and AT&T TV Now. (They won't come to Uverse TV because new sales of that service cease in a given area as soon as AT&T TV launches there.)

    What are the clues that tell me that the new channel package line-up, including Plus and Max, are unfinished?

    Well, first off, there's the fact that AT&T doesn't seem to want anyone to actually sign up for them on AT&T TV or DTV, despite the fact that they're listed in the online ordering systems. Why hide them behind a "more packages" button? Why assign them inflated prices (and a 2-year contract) while they can be bought for half the price or less, contract-free, on AT&T TV Now? Why not advertise them AT ALL? It's because Plus and Max aren't ready for primetime yet. AT&T won't actively market them on their flagship TV services until they are. Remember, AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now) has effectively played the role of AT&T's experimental/developmental staging ground for AT&T TV. That's been true in terms of developing the streaming technology platform but I think it's also true in terms of being an incubator for forming the next-gen channel package line-up. (BTW, I don't expect AT&T TV Now will even exist as its own brand/service by the end of 2020, as it will have outlived its usefulness by then.)

    The second clue we have is that, well, there are just a lot of missing channels in Plus and Max. They include nothing at all from three critical network groups: AMC (including BBC America and IFC), A&E (including History and Lifetime), and Discovery (including HGTV, Food, ID and TLC). So I still expect that those channels -- along with niche channels from other providers that aren't currently available in Plus and Max (e.g. MLB Network, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Nicktoons, etc.) -- will either get added to Plus and/or Max, or become available via other packages, such as add-on Extra Packs that can be appended to either Plus or Max. Also, as I've said before the name "Plus" just makes it sound like a step-up from an entry-level package. Except that currently, nothing exists below it. So I still think we'll see a new "Starter"-type skinny package, probably just the same stuff that's already in AT&T Watch TV: no expensive locals or sports nets, just channels owned by AT&T plus some entertainment channels from Discovery, A+E, AMC and Hallmark networks.

    The way that AT&T has priced the Plus and Max packages on DTV Now/AT&T TV Now has been instructive, though. When you look at the pricing that they had in place for the original set of packages (which were basically just the DTV satellite packages but with different names), you have to think that AT&T was taking a loss on those. They were considerably cheaper than their prices on DTV. And DTV Now was even giving away free Apple TV 4K boxes to boot! I think AT&T was willing to lose that money in order to establish a bit of a beachhead in streaming cable TV but mainly to buy a bunch of beta testers to help them develop their future flagship service, AT&T TV. But by spring of 2019, that development work was pretty much done. So why the need to keep selling their legacy channel packages at unsustainably low prices on DTV Now?

    That's when they deployed their new channel package system, in embryonic form, on DTV Now: Plus and Max. The market reaction was swift and DTV Now's subscriber numbers began to plummet. Budget-conscious cord-cutters knew that these new packages, priced at $50 and $70, were not a great deal compared to YouTube TV and Hulu Live, even if they did include HBO. AT&T seemed to secretly acknowledge this too by offering $10-20 off each of the first 2-3 months for new subs. I think this hints that there's some room for at least a few more channels to be stuffed into each package while holding the line at $50 and $70. And they did plump up Plus and Max a bit by adding Viacom channels after AT&T renewed their contract with them in April. Since then, AT&T has also had contract renewal talks with A+E Networks, although those channels have yet to show up in Plus or Max. (No idea when they last had talks with AMC Networks or Discovery Networks, or if such talks are imminent. Could be what's holding up making Plus and Max the default options on AT&T TV and DTV. I think they're also waiting for HBO Max to debut, at least in beta form, because HBO Max will replace regular HBO as the star of the Plus and Max packages.)

    At any rate, I tend to think that Plus and Max are probably priced to allow sustainably profitable margins at everyday prices of $50 and $70 (with no additional RSN fee for Max), given the amount of cost-control work that AT&T has likely put into their most recent carriage contracts. I think AT&T is using their size to really drive a hard bargain with the network owners. I do not think that AT&T assigned those $50 and $70 price points on DTV Now just to pump them up again a few months later.

    But here's the thing: it makes no sense, and would not be sustainable as a marketing strategy, for AT&T to sell the same set of channel packages on their flagship service, AT&T TV, at significantly higher prices than they sell them for on AT&T TV Now, especially given that the former requires an up-front contract and the latter doesn't. "You're going to punish me with higher prices for signing a contract?" consumers will say. "That's nuts! I'll just go with the cheaper service for the same set of channels."

    That said, the company CAN get away with charging modestly more for the same channel packages on AT&T TV vs. AT&T TV Now if the former offers certain features and benefits that the latter does not. Like an expanded cloud DVR, more simultaneous streams, and a free customized streaming box and voice remote. How much more for those perks? $10 more per month feels right to me. And keep in mind that AT&T TV can be bundled with AT&T Fiber/Internet for an ongoing $10 per month bundling discount. So in other words, we might see the company price the services so that those extra perks that come with AT&T TV vs. AT&T TV Now are free for their best customers who bundle TV with home broadband.

    So I expect that when the dust has settled by this Dec., we'll see the new packaging system in place with the following regular prices, with all packages including the new HBO Max. No additional fees for RSNs or local broadcast channels:

    • AT&T TV Now: Starter $30, Plus $50, Max $70
    • AT&T TV: Starter $40, Plus $60, Max $80
    • DirecTV: Starter $50, Plus $70, Max $90
    Why the difference in pricing between services for the same set of channels? Well, they have different features.

    • AT&T TV Now: never a contract, BYO device, small cloud DVR, 2 simultaneous streams
    • AT&T TV: 1-yr contract, 1 free custom streaming device, big cloud DVR, 3 simultaneous streams, bundling discount for AT&T Fiber/Internet customers
    • DirecTV: 2-yr contract, free pro install, 1 HD DVR, $7/mo fee per TV to extend service with whole-home HD DVR to additional TVs
    I've already explained my reasoning for the $10 step-up charge when you go from AT&T TV Now to AT&T TV. Where am I getting the same $10 step-up charge for DirecTV over AT&T TV? Well, for one, I'm just applying the same pattern again. But secondly, that's how Plus and Max are currently priced. Each package is $10/mo more on DTV than on AT&T TV. The (current, temporary, inflated) price for Plus is $100 on AT&T TV but $110 on DTV. And for now, Max is $120 on AT&T TV but $130 on DTV. And note too that the same $20 price differential holds between Plus and Max regardless of which service they're on.

    If customers are really lucky, all those missing channels from A+E, AMC and Discovery networks will get squeezed into Plus and Max (most in Plus, all of them in Max) while the pricing holds at the levels I indicated above. But AT&T may not be able to do that while preserving acceptable profit margins, in which case only some of them get added to Plus and Max while others get relegated to add-on Extra Packs that cost $5-10 each.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  5. Sep 3, 2019 #125 of 130
    lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    While all of that may come to pass, it is nearly certain that it won’t hold up to market pressures IMO. The pricing is out of whack with what other cable/sat streaming services are offering and missing too many nearly must have channels.
    IMO, if they do as you suggest they can continue to lose subscribers. It is just a fact of life that cutting costs is part and parcel with cutting the cord.


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  6. Sep 3, 2019 #126 of 130
    CTJon

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    When they say concurrent streams I assume since it is cloud DVR that doesn't include recording or does it? There are some times when 2 or 3 wouldn't be enough
     
  7. Sep 3, 2019 #127 of 130
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    "Concurrent streams" is how many active *viewing* sessions are happening at the same time, regardless of whether one is viewing live TV, recorded TV, or on-demand TV. When content is being recorded to the cloud DVR, that does not count as a viewing session. In fact, there's apparently no limit on how many concurrent recordings can be done. Someone tested it out on DTV Now (now branded as AT&T TV Now) and said they got up to, IIRC, 18 successful recordings on different channels at the same time before they got bored with the experiment.
     
  8. Sep 3, 2019 #128 of 130
    NashGuy

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    I disagree. Well, I think I do. We'll need to see the specifics of exactly what channels are in Plus and Max to know for sure.

    From a consumer perspective, my hunch is that the worst-case scenario is what I've speculated before: that both the Plus and Max packages get AMC, BBC America, A&E, History and Lifetime added to them, while Max also gets maybe IFC and Viceland. And then let's say that all the Discovery channels (Discovery, ID, HGTV, Food, Travel, OWN, TLC, MotorTrend, etc.) are available inside a Discovery Extra Pack for, say, $7.50/mo. And let's say that the Max package automatically scores you one free Extra Pack of your choice. (Other options beside Discovery Extra might be Sports Extra, Family Extra, and Entertainment Extra, each costing the same $7.50/mo price.)

    If that's what happens, in conjunction with the pricing and features that I outlined above, I actually DO think that AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now will be fairly competitive with YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV. And AT&T TV will blow Comcast's current Xfinity TV plans and pricing out of the water. I'd encourage you to actually look at which channels are and are not included in YTTV, at $50/mo, and Hulu Live, at $45/mo. And then think about the respective size and feature sets of those services' cloud DVRs. (YTTV has unlimited 9-month storage, which is great, but does replace recordings from CBS, CW and Pop with on-demand versions in which you can't FF past ads. Hulu Live has 50 hours of storage with no expiration but you can't FF past ads at ALL in recordings unless you pay another $10/mo to upgrade to the enhanced cloud DVR, which also expands storage to 200 hours.) And then remember that neither of those services will include the ad-free HBO Max premium service, which will likely sell separately for $16-17/mo.

    For folks who really value HBO and lots of sports (including their RSNs), along with all other popular cable channels, the Max package on AT&T TV will be hard to beat for $80/mo, I think. Yeah, you may have to sign a 1-yr contract for that but then most adults who care about cable TV plan to keep it at least one year when they sign up with a new provider. And for those on AT&T Fiber/Internet, the cost drops to an incremental $70/mo beyond standalone broadband.

    If you're a sports nut but don't care about HBO Max, then Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV will be better options for you than AT&T TV or AT&T TV Now. But if you're the opposite, and you're enticed by HBO Max but just a casual sports fan (let's says locals plus ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1 and NBCSN suffice for your sports fix), then the $50 Plus package on AT&T TV Now will probably be more appealing to you than either YTTV or Hulu Live. And if you're on AT&T Fiber/Internet and can get Plus via AT&T TV for an incremental $50 increase to your bill over standalone broadband, then it's a no-brainer with its 500-hour cloud DVR and 3 streams.

    Now, as I speculate above, subscribers to the Plus package might not get ANY of the Discovery networks. So if they want those, they'd either need to spring for the Discovery Extra Pack (which I'm guessing would be around $7.50/mo) or they could instead purchase the forthcoming standalone Discovery streaming service (launching early 2020), which is rumored to cost in the $5-8/mo range. But, as I say, this is what I believe to be the worst-case scenario. Maybe AT&T has enough pricing room left in the Plus package to stuff something like the following in: Discovery, HGTV, Food, ID, OWN, TLC. (These are their most popular channels and the ones they strive to get included in mainstream packages.) And then all their others get included in Max: Travel, Animal Planet, Motor Trend, DIY, Science, Discovery Life, Discovery Family, etc. That's similar to how the Discovery nets are split up between Xfinity's new Extra vs. Preferred IPTV packages. If something like that played out, I wouldn't expect Max to include your choice of a free Extra Pack. But you could still add the Sports Extra, Family Extra and Entertainment Extra Packs to either Plus or Max for however much they cost.

    At any rate, when evaluating the costs for AT&T's TV services, you'll have to factor in the value of HBO Max. What's that worth to you? How much would YouTube TV cost if it had Netflix bundled in with it? Because HBO Max is gonna try to go toe-to-toe with Netflix and be perceived by the public as having at least equal value.
     
  9. Sep 3, 2019 #129 of 130
    lparsons21

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    For me, I can do one of two things right now and both get the channels I want and reduce my current outlay.

    Scenario #1 - Stay with cable at $50/month by taking out the premiums and ‘extra’ packs. That includes the locals, TV on 3 sets in a whole home environment, the costs for the cable cards, and all taxes and whatever other bogus fees they come up with. Price good for at least a year. After that who knows? Might get a ‘deal’, might be told to pound sand.

    Scenario#2 - Shift to streaming/OTA @$30/month. That would include my 9 must have channels, OTA on a paid for Tivo, and a few watch on rare occasions channels. Not really a whole home solution but then that isn’t really a necessity as Sling Blue allows for 3 streams. OTA could be split but probably wouldn’t as I don’t think it is a real need.

    Shift Premiums to an ‘on occasion’ subscription. I currently only record 4 shows on the Premiums and never watch them live, so I could just sub to each one, one month a year for an average of something less than $4/month. (Current sub to each on via AppleTV totals $45).

    Note that neither Satellite nor ATT’s fat subscriptions are cheaper IF they have my 9 must have channels.


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  10. Sep 4, 2019 #130 of 130
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    That's all well and good for you, based on your personal viewing tastes and the specifics of your situation, but without knowing exactly which channels are in which options, one cannot make any kind of determination about how they stack up against one another for the *average* consumer in the general public.

    Also note that you are talking about your options as someone who owns a TiVo, apparently with lifetime DVR service already paid for. If that's the case, well, that's a sunk cost, but one that (for now, at least) has resale value (i.e. a cost that must be accounted for in any honest apples-to-apples comparison of TV service options). It's a *highly* pertinent factor for you when evaluating your options but it's not a factor that applies to 99.99% of the general public.
     
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