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AT&T quietly lowers promotional prices for DirecTV, U-Verse

AT&T lost around four million pay TV subscribers last year, and the company is working to lure back some of those customers by offering a rare discount on satellite TV service.

This week, the company quietly lowered its introductory price across DirecTV’s core packages by $10 a month for the first year:

  • DirecTV Select (155 channels, including Nickelodeon, CNN, MTV and TNT) costs $50 a month plus taxes.
  • DirecTV Entertainment (160 channels, including Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, HGTV and ESPN, but not regional sports channels) costs $55 a month plus taxes.
  • DirecTV Choice (185 channels, including ESPN, Game Show Network, Travel Channel and regional sports channels) costs $60 a month plus taxes.
  • DirecTV Xtra (235 channels, including National Geographic Wild, Lifetime Movie Network and FYI as well as national and regional sports channels) will cost $70 a month plus taxes.
  • DirecTV Ultimate (250 channels, including CBS Sports Network, El Rey Network and regional sports channels) costs $75 a month plus taxes.
  • DirecTV Premiere (330 channels including premium networks HBO, Cinemax and Showtime plus regional sports channels) costs $125 a month plus taxes.

All of the plans require a customer sign up for AutoPay, paperless billing and a two-year contract. The price of all packages increases to their regular rates — between $85 a month and $197 a month — during the second year of the two-year contract. A $5 discount for AutoPay and paperless billing goes away in the second year, too. The company is not including NFL Sunday Ticket in any of the packages.

AT&T is offering similar deals for U-Verse, which could be more attractive, especially to those who live in apartments or other housing units where installing a dish is difficult or impossible. The discount is larger too — $15 a month off normal promotional prices.

  • U-Verse Family (180 channels including locals, Audience Network, Bloomberg, Cartoon Network and National Geographic) for $50 a month plus taxes.
  • U-Verse U200 (370 channels, including the History Channel, FX, Fox News and Disney) for $70 a month plus taxes.
  • U-Verse U300 (485 channels, including MLB Network, Nick Jr., SEC Network and Showtime) for $75 a month plus taxes.
  • U-Verse U450 (550 channels, including premium networks HBO, Cinemax and Starz) for $125 a month.

Like with DirecTV, AT&T is requiring U-Verse customers enroll in AutoPay and paperless billing and sign a two-year contract to receive the promotional rates, which increase to normal rates in the second year. AT&T also charges a $10 a month “broadcast fee” for access to local channels.

The promotional deals end March 28.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).