AT&T TV to Become DirecTV Stream, As Part of DirecTV Spin-Off
AT&T has officially spun-off DirecTV, which means that AT&T TV will now have a new name – DirecTV Stream. DIRECTV says the transition will happen later this month, and service will continue to be available with no term commitment or hidden fees.
This is the latest name for the streaming service that originally launched in 2016 as DIRECTV NOW. In January 2019, the company rebranded DIRECTV NOW as AT&T TV NOW, ahead of the nationwide launch of AT&T TV in March 2020.
“This is a watershed moment for DIRECTV as we return to a singular focus on providing a stellar video experience,” said Bill Morrow, CEO, DIRECTV. “Building on our recent momentum, we are well-positioned to bring unparalleled choice and value to all of our customers under one iconic brand, whether they beam it or stream it.”
In January 2021, AT&T shut down AT&T TV NOW to new subscribers and instead launched a new no-contract option to AT&T TV, which will now be DirecTV Stream.
Just like AT&T TV, DirecTV Stream has four tiers, starting with $69.99 with their Entertainment Plan with 65+ channels. If you want regional sports including Bally Sports RSNs, their Choice Plan begins at $84.99 (including RSN Fee), which also include HBO Max for one-year. They also have an Ultimate ($94.99 for 130 channels) and Premier ($139.99 for 140 channels).
If you do choose the no contract option though, the service will only include a 20 Hour Cloud DVR (500 Hours for an additional $10). The service also does not include DirecTV’s Android TV streaming box, but you can use your own streaming device at no extra cost.
All plans include local channels and at least 34 of the Top 35 Cable Channels from AMC, A+E, Discovery, Disney, NBCU, WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS, and Crown Media (Hallmark).
With the two-year contract option, you will save ~$10-15 a month for the first year and get some additional benefits like an DirecTV Stream streaming box and 500 Hour DVR. However, after the first year you will see a nearly $35 a month price hike and will have to pay a Regional Sports Fee of up to $8.49 a month.
Comparison of DirecTV Stream No Contract and Contract Plans
|No Contract||2-Year Contract|
|Entertainment||65+ Channels||$69.99||$59.99 ($93*)|
|Choice||90+ Channels||$84.99||$64.99 ($110*)|
|Ultimate||130+ Channels||$94.99||$74.99 ($124*)|
|Premier||140+ Channels||$139.99||$79.99 ($135*)|
Earlier this year, AT&T reached a deal to sell 30% minority stake in its DirecTV, AT&T TV, and U-Verse business to private-equity firm TPG. The deal does not include streaming assets like HBO Max, AT&T SportsNet (their regional sports networks), or AT&T U-Verse internet business.
The deal will value the AT&T businesses around at $16.25 billion, meaning that AT&T will net $7.8 billion in cash. AT&T acquired DirecTV in 2015 for $48.5 billion ($67 billion with debt). New DirecTV will see AT&T’s U.S. video unit CEO, Bill Morrow, join as the company’s CEO.