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AT&T kills DirecTV brand Now as TV subscribers leave in pieces



  A thematic illustration of the Star Wars AT&T and DirecTV logos.

AT&T eliminates the DirecTV Now brand, which it uses to combat Internet-based television service. DirecTV will now become "AT&T TV Now" later this summer, AT&T announced today. DirecTV now (the future "AT&T TV Now") is offering a suite of linear television channels similar to traditional cable or satellite services, and AT&T has stated that its core offering will not be changed.

The 201

5 acquisition of DirecTV by AT&T for 2015. The largest satellite TV network does not seem to be paying off, as AT&T had hoped. AT&T launched DirecTV now – short for the online version of DirecTV only – in 2016, and it was immediately hit by multiple interruptions, unexpected live sports game interruptions and missing channels.

While the technical problems were sorted out. outside, AT&T subscribers' profits were short-lived. As we wrote last week, AT&T lost 946,000 television subscribers in the second quarter of 2019 after announcing a series of price increases.

The loss of 946,000 subscribers consisted of a net loss of 778,000 subscribers to AT&T and U-verse TVline's DirecTV satellite television services and 168,000 lost DirecTV Now subscribers. The losses are much greater when you look at the last year, not just the last three months. Including all three services, AT&T's total subscribers dropped from 25.4 million in the second quarter of 2018 to 22.9 million in the second quarter of 2019. DirecTV subscribers have now dropped from 1.8 million to 1.3 million during the last year.

The DirecTV satellite is still called DirecTV [19659007] While the streaming service drops the DirecTV brand, the satellite TV service will retain the name DirecTV, at least for now.

"We continue to invest to improve our satellite experience and this brand remains unchanged to this day." AT&T said in a statement to Ars.

AT&T has stated that the actual DirecTV Now service will remain the same despite the name change. "Our DirecTV Now subscribers will just have to accept the terms of service again and their transmission will continue as usual without interruption," AT&T says.

The name change comes as AT&T plans numerous new services to support its television business, which can be confusing for customers. The company will offer AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV – two separate services with almost identical names – from one app called AT&T TV.

"In select markets this summer, we will be piloting a whole new connected satellite TV experience is needed – AT&T TV," it said in a statement today. AT&T continued:

Both AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now will be available through the same AT&T TV application either on mobile or on a large screen. Customer login will determine what content is displayed. In the coming weeks, the AT&T TV app will be available for download in various app stores, and current DirecTV Now customers will automatically see this update on their devices. We will share more details about this presentation when it starts.

How AT&T TV Will Be Different from AT&T TV It's not completely clear now. AT&T TV's website says it will include "access to live television, thousands of titles on demand, 500 hours of cloud DVR and access to other applications such as Netflix and Pandora." But the page does not say how much it will cost.

Services such as Netflix and Pandora will still require separate subscriptions, but AT&T will provide a receiver that can access the applications. "AT&T TV comes with our next-generation 4K device and voice remote with built-in Google Assistant," the website also says.

AT&T TV sounds awfully similar to DirecTV Now (future "AT&T TV Now"), though they will be separate services. Like the future AT&T TV, the current DirecTV Now has live television, on-demand programming and cloud DVR. But DirecTV now only allows 20 hours of cloud DVR recording, compared to the 500 hours scheduled for AT&T TV. We expect there will be other differences in channel bids and pricing, but AT&T has not yet revealed specifics.

In March this year, AT&T raised the cost of DirecTV Now for existing subscribers and reduced the number of channels new customers receive, The current version of DirecTV Now offers two plans, which cost $ 50 or $ 70 per month, with additional fees for premium networks.

AT&T is facing a class action complaint accusing it of investor lies to hide the failure of DirecTV Now. AT&T has told investors that DirecTV Now has been successful even as its subscriber base has fallen due to price increases and suspension of promotional discounts, the case claims.

AT&T TV, HBO Go, HBO Max, U-verse, DirecTV and more. [19659007] AT&T also offers WatchTV, a $ 15 streaming plan with 35 channels and multiple HBO-branded services thanks to Time Warner Inc.'s acquisition of AT&T. Another major version planned by AT&T is HBO Max, which comes in the spring of 2020 and will combine the HBO library with other Time Warner content.

Including today's services and future launches, Wall Street Journal reporter Drew FitzGerald indicated on Twitter that AT&T will offer TV shows through HBO Go, HBO Max, HBO Now, AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV, AT&T WatchTV, AT&T U-verse and DirecTV. We have already mentioned most of these services in this article. Others include HBO Go, an online service for people who buy HBO through their cable or satellite TV provider, and HBO Now, which is similar but purchased directly from HBO for $ 15 a month.


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