Directv Now raising prices again

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by slice1900, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Going from $50 to $65 a month for the 'plus' package, and from $70 to $85 for 'max'. They said a while ago they were going to adjust the pricing so they were no longer losing money, I guess they've finally done it. The problem is, if the other companies like Sling are still willing to lose money in pursuit of market share they'll leave for those providers. At least until the competition gets tired of losing money.

    Not sure anyone ever thought low pricing that wasn't sustainable was a good idea anyway. It doesn't cost any less to deliver TV via streaming than it does via cable or satellite, the only difference is there is no install and the customer provides their own equipment. That will save some money on the added fees, but I wonder if cable/satellite would even be profitable if all they could charge was the base package fee and local/RSN fee, but not the 'HD fee', 'DVR fee', and fee per receiver that are huge profit centers for them.

    I imagine the others will follow, sooner or later depending on how much appetite for continuing to lose money they have, and people who want to cut the cord will have to REALLY cut the cord, and REALLY give up some of the programming that you simply can't get via streaming, not just switch to a different delivery method to get basically the same thing they had on cable/satellite.
     
  2. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    Oh well ...

    And internet streaming services was supposed to be the "Holy Grail" of cord-cutting alternatives? ...

    Another illusion being shattered I guess ....

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  3. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Like Cord Cutting, you're not cutting the cord, your Cord Swapping.
     
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  4. WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

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    Internet Caps -and Many Streaming Service are the hidden dangers of cord cutting - after it's all said and done your total is about the same. They only way to save any money - is to throw out your TV and be done with it all
     
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  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

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    Well, I think we've only heard half the story with regard to the Plus and Max packages. They notified folks on them today via email that the prices will increase by $15/mo starting Nov. 19 because, as I understand it, AT&T's user terms state that they must give at least a 1 month notice to customers before increasing their prices. Today is Oct. 18, so they were cutting it close.

    But I've been saying for a long time now that I thought these new Plus and Max packages were works in progress. Just as they got Viacom channels added to them in April, about a month after they debuted, I expected them to also get other missing channels added by the time that AT&T TV debuted nationwide, including channels from AMC and A+E Networks, and that AT&T TV would offer Plus and Max too (and cease offering new customers the old DirecTV packages like Entertainment, Choice and Xtra). Although I did think those channels would get added to Plus and Max without a price increase. I also predicted that the missing Discovery channels (including HGTV, Food, OWN, etc.) might be made optionally available via a "Discovery Extra Pack" for an extra $5-10/mo. But given this just-announced $15 price increase, I expect key channels from all three groups (AMC, A+E *and* Discovery) to be added to both Plus and Max. Frankly, I expect that now more than ever. Because Plus and Max on AT&T TV Now didn't seem all that popular at $50 and $70. There's no way in hell they're going to take off at $65 and $85 without some serious improvements.

    I've also been saying that I think Plus and Max will include the upcoming HBO Max, instead of just the regular HBO that they already have. I think that fact will be announced at the HBO Max unveiling event on Oct. 29. I've also been saying that HBO Max might debut in beta form this Nov., available exclusively to AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now subscribers, before HBO Max is finalized as a standalone service next spring. Perhaps all the finalized details for both AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now will be announced at the Oct. 29 event. We'll see.

    At any rate, I now expect AT&T TV to launch nationwide on Nov. 19, exactly one quarter after its soft launch in various pilot cities on Aug. 19. Note that Nov. 19 is also the date when the prices of Plus and Max are going up on AT&T TV Now. So I think both services will offer the same improved Plus and Max packages starting that day.

    So how will AT&T TV -- which AT&T is referring to as their "premium" service -- differ from AT&T TV Now? I had been saying that I expected the same packages to cost $10 more per month on AT&T TV to cover the cost of additional features. So I was saying Plus and Max would cost $50 and $70 on AT&T TV Now but $60 and $80 on AT&T TV. And that extra $10/mo would score you a greatly expanded cloud DVR (500 hrs/90 days vs. 20 hrs/30 days) plus a 3rd simultaneous stream included (which currently costs an extra $5/mo on AT&T TV Now).

    At this point, I'm thinking that Plus and Max will cost the same thing on both services, $65 and $85, and come with the same expanded cloud DVR and 3 simultaneous streams. So what will be the difference between them? We already know that both services use the same app (named "AT&T TV"). Maybe the only difference will be that AT&T TV requires a 1-yr up-front contract, but comes with 1 free customized streaming box (regularly sold for $120), while AT&T TV Now does not require the contract but also doesn't come with any free hardware. AT&T TV will be the service they aim to bundle with their AT&T Fiber/Internet home broadband service (which also has a 1-yr initial contract). Bundling them will result in the same $10/mo discount that already exists when you combine either Uverse TV or DirecTV with their broadband.

    So, if I'm right, AT&T will essentially be where I've long thought they would ultimately end up, which is really just having one streaming cable TV service, which will serve as their flagship cable TV service (immediately replacing Uverse TV and gradually replacing DirecTV). The question that customers will face when taking it is whether an up-front contract is worth a free streaming box or not (plus a $10/mo discount if bundled with AT&T Fiber/Internet). I'm not even sure what the point is of using the two separate brands, AT&T TV vs. AT&T TV Now. And in fact, earlier comments from AT&T made it sound like the latter brand might just die once these channel bundles become available as add-ons in the HBO Max app. That will probably happen before the end of 2020.

    Yeah, in the end, it's all the same stuff, just a different way of delivering it and packaging/pricing it. I do still expect the expanded Plus and Max packages to become the standard (maybe only) packages offered to new DirecTV satellite customers too, perhaps on that same Nov. 19 date. Just as DirecTV's standard new customer pricing already includes HD DVR service for 1 TV, with no additional equipment fees, I expect the same will be true of Plus and Max. But they'll cost more on DirecTV and still require a 2-yr contract in exchange for free professional installation. Perhaps the regular prices for Plus and Max will be $80 and $100, with hardware and service for each additional TV still costing an extra $7/mo. But like on AT&T TV, there would be no additional charges for locals or RSNs. (RSNs are only in the Max package, BTW.)

    Yeah, I don't know if Hulu Live or YouTube TV are losing money at this point. I doubt Hulu Live is. YouTube TV has more channels, and Google doesn't own any of them, so maybe it still is, even after increasing the price by $5 this year to $50. But Google can afford to continue losing a bit on each customer if they think they'll be able to really grow the customer base, giving them greater ad revenue and the ability to negotiate lower channel carriage rates in the future. I also wonder if they won't be forced to add at least a few missing channels that AT&T TV will have, namely A&E, History, Lifetime, and Hallmark. I've been predicting that will happen, along with another $5 price hike, in 2020. I don't foresee YouTube TV or Hulu Live adding Viacom channels unless/until they have to (now that Viacom has merged with CBS).

    Basically what this whole 2-3 year experiment in "cord-cutter" streaming cable TV services has done is result in slightly trimming down what constitutes the standard basic cable channel bundle. And that's more or less the model that all operators will embrace, regardless of the delivery method. It's just a phase in the breakdown of the cable bundle as customers, who are spending increasing time and money on SVODs, demand to pay lesser amounts for their cable channel bundles.
     
  6. slovell

    slovell New Member

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    It's the same old same old. Lure you in with an attractive introductory price then a little later set the hook with the real price. It won't be long until streaming is the same price or even a higher price than satellite.
     
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  7. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    I sometimes wonder if television was just never meant to be anymore than the free OTA model with commercials that it was from its original inception.

    As it seems no matter what the specific delivery method, whether it's the "greed factor" or what have you.
    The pay TV model just can't manage control escalating costs.

    Which eventually brings the entire system down ...

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  8. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    EXACTLY what I've been saying for months now. Cord cutters are kidding themselves if they think they're going to be saving "that much" money for long. This is a mind blowing 30% price hike. Before long NashGuy is going to give up on cord cutting and start taking about "cord duct taping back together" :D. Streaming services are simply not viable at super low prices and people looking to cut the cord don't want skinny packages anyways. They want cheaper service (and to keep most of the channels).

    Even Cramer has said cord cutting is a bubble already long in the tooth. Its a vocal minority. Not that I listen to Cramer.

    Don't believe me? Netflix is down -35%. Roku is down -26%. Netflix just missed sub counts for the second quarter in a row. First time ever. Even Hastings will tell you growth in the US has peaked which is why Netflix is focusing on 3rd world indy films now.
     
  9. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I don’t agree. People do want skinny bundles but it is hard to package them as the content providers want to keep their channels all together. IOW a ‘right’ mix, whatever that is.
    For instance, not all of Viacom’s channels but maybe one or two of them, mixed with a couple of NBC/Universal, mixed with... Well you get the idea. And like most problems, it is all about keeping that bottom line up.



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  10. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    If you have to sub to 2 - 3 services to get all your channels, then you don't want a skinny package. At least not the skinny packages that are out there.
     
  11. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    True. In my case I had 9 must have channels and fortunately they were all on a couple of the services. I subbed to Sling Blue which worked out fine.

    Other services I sub to are Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu and CBS All Access. But I subscribed to them long before I tried my streaming experiment and still do even though I have a good cable subscription.


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  12. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    Cable subscription?

    I don't recall when you left DISH ...

    So even the new H3 (at the time) with all those 16 tuners didn't pan out in the end? ...

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  13. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Oh it worked quite well, I still think it is the best equipment out there. But a couple years ago the local cable company sent a rep out and he showed how to save $70/month by bundling with them.


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  14. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't looked at what channels they offer, but unless it is a lot less than a typical cable package I don't see how they can't be losing money. It is already $15/month just for locals, if they include ESPN that's another $10 and we haven't even got up to 10 channels yet.

    It isn't any cheaper to deliver TV via streaming than via cable/satellite, and if anything it costs MORE for the content for Youtube since they have so few subscribers compared to the big boys. If (and that's a BIG if) Hulu is piggybacking on Comcast's content deals then they are getting much better pricing than they'd already get, but due to Hulu's mixed ownership I doubt that's the case.
     
  15. west99999

    west99999 Icon

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    I said years ago when streaming starts to cut into traditional tv service profits that streaming service price would start to come in line with traditional prices and we are well on the way
     
  16. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Yep, streaming costs for the same channel lineup should be the nearly the same as sat or cable as channel costs are the same or nearly so. The price differences should come from packages of fewer channels.
     
  17. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    First the streaming providers give customers molasses to lure them in, then feed them sulfur after they're hooked.
     
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  18. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Why anybody thought this wasn't gonna happen eludes me. All ATT wants to do is give us something similar to what we have. And charge about the same for both services. And, once again, why folks that stream need to see live TV eludes me. One more time: If you want to save money by streaming don't use a cable replacement service. Pick the streaming video service you want at the moment and deactivate all the other streaming sites. If you do that all you have to pay is the monthly cost of the streaming service. IOW use one streaming video service at a time. Your monthly bill will be less than twenty bucks a month. Think you can't do that?

    Rich
     
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  19. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Certainly you can do that and it is probably the ‘best’ way if there can be said to be a best way. But we’ve gotten used to channels and it is a change from that.

    The advantage of channels is that we know what channels have which shows or types of shows, and finding something of interest is a bit easier. And let’s face it, the UI’s of almost all the non-channel oriented streamers leaves lots to be desired. Some steps that are developing are things like Apple’s TV app and similar things on other platforms.

    If the goal is to save significant money then subbing to a single service at a time is probably ideal. But I’ve yet to find a single one that I like well enough to only sub to it and nothing else.

    Currently I’m on cable but still have subs to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu & CBS All Access. Mostly because I watch a fair amount of daytime tv and usually am on a streamer during the day as I’m worn out of watching yet another rerun of the same shows the cable channels fill their day with. If they had more variety I probably wouldn’t do that.


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  20. espaeth

    espaeth AllStar

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    ... and in many cases it will still be worth it for the better video quality, user interface, and flexibility of being able to watch on practically any Internet-connected device.

    Years ago, Dish and DIRECTV marketed themselves on savings compared to cable, but ultimately retained subscribers by having the technology to lead in HD, channel variety, and DVR capabilities. Same deal with most streaming services today: come for the savings, stay for the superior end user experience.

    That said, ATT’s streaming service is a bit of a mystery. One thing it does have going for it is that it has the highest bitrate and video quality of any of the services in the market today. After that, though, it’s all downhill. They have more stability problems than their competitors, they offer the smallest DVR (20 hours?!), and they have the highest price tiers. Unless they’ve fixed things since this spring, you can’t even pause live TV with ATT’s streaming service.
     
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