Since AT&T purchased DirecTV, they have continued to have one problem after another. The DoJ has reconsidered their position on the purchase, while investors have called the company out. The investor lawsuit surrounds the accuracy of the number of people leaving the company's streaming service. Investors claim that far more customers have jumped ship than AT&T have claimed.
Now, with pressure mounting, the company has made a surprising new change to the service: increasing prices. DirecTV hopes that the remaining DirecTV Now customers, which are now AT&T TV Now customers, will be willing to pay significantly more for their service, theoretically filling in some of the holes drilled by former customers. This is far from the first price increase for the service. It started at $35 per month for 60 channels, with prices now starting at $50 per month for 45 channels. While the base plans still exist. AT&T TV Now is offering packages as high as $135 per month for 125+ channels.
This new price point is in the range of traditional cable companies, like AT&T's own U-Verse. In fact, $135 for 125+ channels is more expensive than U-Verse. The company's traditional hardline cable service offers 190+ channels, plus internet access, for $109 per month. So, what is the benefit of subscribing to this service, whose entire purpose is to attract those who don't want to pay the higher prices required to maintain the cable infrastructure? To the best of our knowledge, nothing.
This move is similar to a restaurant in trouble, where they raise their prices and lower their ingredient quality. It helps for a little while, but customers get tired of the change and leave, so they do it again, trying to stop the financial bleeding by creating a new wound somewhere else. While this might help in the very short term, the end result is an increase in subscribers for Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue.