DirecTV Now’s $35 a month price for 100+ channels — which some analysts thought was too good, or foolish, to be true — soon will be history.
AT&T says that on January 9 the introductory offer will expire, and the streaming service’s “Go Big” package will cost $60.
“Any current DirecTV Now customers, and those who sign up before the promotion ends, will stay at the special price of $35” as long as they keep the package “subject only to future reasonable programming price increases applicable to all packages,” AT&T says.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson turned a lot of heads in September when he disclosed the $35 price for the 100+ channel package just days after the company agreed to pay $85 billion for Time Warner.
The company was able to offer the low price because DirecTV had “a very unique cost structure” that AT&T has “built from the ground up” with no set top boxes, online billing, and truck rolls, he said. “It’s a nominal incremental cost to provision this,” he said.
AT&T said in November that the $35 for 100+ channels was just an introductory offer, but with no end date established.
Then, early this month, Stephenson pointed to the offer in telling the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy & Consumer Rights — in a hearing about the Time Warner deal — that DirecTV Now was an example of how AT&T could benefit consumers. It was “only the beginning of what we want to bring to the marketplace to threaten cable’s entrenched and still dominant market position.”
But the acknowledgement that the $35 offer was just temporary “did much to assuage investor anxiety about the cannibalization [of traditional pay TV] risk posed by DirecTV Now,” MoffettNathanson Research’s Craig Moffett said this month. “To many, the price points suggest that the OTT product will be much more mainstream, and therefore less disruptive, than initially feared.”