AT&T TV Combines The Worst of Cable, Satellite, & Streaming For One Inflated Price

In June, John Donovan, AT&T Communications CEO said their AT&T TV service would “radically reshape what your concept of television is.” This week, the company finally unveiled the service, which was thought to be a streaming version of their DIRECTV service — a fat bundle addressing the market of those who wanted DIRECTV, but couldn’t get the service because there was no line of site.

What they unveiled though was everything that people hate about cable and satellite companies — hidden fees, contracts, teaser pricing, channels they don’t need — with the similar bundle that you would get with a $50 Live TV Streaming Service.

In fact, the entry-level Entertainment bundle is almost identical to the $35/month Live a Little package they launched under the DIRECTV NOW brand in 2016 — but this starts at $60 a month and increases to $93 in the second year.

Unlike DIRECTV, they don’t have are missing a number of local channels and Regional Sports Networks. In one of their launch markets, Odessa, TX — they offer NBC (KWES), CBS (KOSA), & FOX (KPEJ), but not The CW (KCWO), MyNetworkTV, Univision (KUPB), or Independents (KWWT, KMLM) — which are available on DIRECTV.

Even stranger, they don’t offer AT&T SportsNet Southwest which is also available on DIRECTV, but not AT&T TV — talk about corporate synergies!

And one of the biggest allures of DIRECTV is NFL Sunday Ticket, which is usually included for new customers. Unfortunately, it’s not available with AT&T TV. You could subscribe to SundayTicket.TV ($400 per season), but it is only available to apartment dwellers and students — and doesn’t require an AT&T account.

Unlike DIRECTV, which will suffer the occasional outage from storms, the service is powered by the same “high-quality” experience as their existing DIRECTV NOW streaming service which has historically been one of the least reliable Live TV Streaming Services.

So the question is — who is AT&T fooling?

They charging similar pricing to their satellite DIRECTV service, but they no longer have to send someone to hook up your satellite and install set-top boxes. AT&T isn’t passing on the benefit to the consumer, so they’re hoping that some people sign-up for this instead of a Live TV Streaming Service — like their own AT&T TV NOW?

While their own “skinny bundle”, formerly known as DIRECTV NOW, is missing channels from A+E, AMC, & Discovery — it includes HBO ($15 value), and has 23 of the Top 35 Cable Channels. But unlike, AT&T TV, it doesn’t have a two-year contract, and won’t automatically jump in the second year.

AT&T TV NOW PLUS Plan vs. AT&T TV ‘Entertainment’ Plan

Differences of Top Channels Between Plans
AT&T NOW AT&T TV
Free Trial Free Trial
$50–$70 $60–$80
A&E -
AMC -
Discovery -
Food Network -
HBO ^ $15
HGTV -
History -
Investigation Discovery -
Lifetime -
Paramount Network $70
TLC -
WE tv -

How about other streaming services?

But when you compare AT&T TV to other Live TV Streaming Services like PlayStation Vue, Hulu Live TV, fuboTV, and YouTube TV — their plans are even more absurd.

AT&T TV PS Vue Hulu fuboTV YouTube AT&T NOW
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$60–$80 $50–$85 $45 $55 $50 $50–$70
A&E - - -
AMC - -
beIN Sports - ≥ $55 - - -
BET - - -
Bravo
Cartoon Network
CNN
Comedy Central - - -
Discovery -
Disney Channel -
Disney Junior -
E!
Eleven Sports - ≥ $65 - - -
ESPN -
ESPN2 -
ESPNEWS ≥ $65 ≥ $55 - $70
Food Network -
Fox News
Fox Soccer Plus - ^ $15 - ^ $6 ^ $15 -
Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 2 ≥ $75 $70
Freeform -
FX
FXX
Golf Channel ≥ $75 ≥ $55 $70
Hallmark ≥ $55 - -
HGTV -
History - - -
Investigation Discovery -
Lifetime - - -
MLB Network ≥ $65 ≥ $55 - - -
MSNBC
MTV - - -
NBA TV ≥ $75 ≥ $55 - -
NBC Sports Network
NFL Network - ≥ $55 - - -
NFL RedZone - ^ $10 - ^ $11 - -
NHL Network ≥ $75 ≥ $55 - - - -
Nickelodeon - - -
Olympic Channel ≥ $75 $70
Paramount Network - - - $70
Syfy
TBS
Tennis Channel ≥ $65 ≥ $55 - ^ $11 -
TLC -
TNT
Travel Channel ≥ $65 -
truTV
USA Network
VH1 - - -
WE tv - -

PlayStation Vue Core ($55) vs. AT&T TV ‘Xtra’ ($75) Plan

Comparing PlayStation Vue Core ($55) to AT&T TV Xtra ($80 —> $124 in second year), you lose channels from A+E and Viacom, but you get NFL Network, MLB Network, & NHL Network.

Service Year 1 Year 2 Total
PlayStation Vue $660 $660 $1,320
AT&T TV $960 $1,488 $2,448

Over your first two years, you’ll save over $1,000 with PlayStation Vue and $768 every year after that.

Differences of Top Channels Between Plans
PS Vue AT&T TV
Free Trial Free Trial
$50–$85 $60–$80
A&E -
beIN Sports ≥ $55 -
BET -
Comedy Central -
Golf Channel ≥ $55 ≥ $75
History -
Lifetime -
MTV -
NBA TV ≥ $55 ≥ $75
NFL Network ≥ $55 -
NHL Network ≥ $55 ≥ $75
Nickelodeon -
Olympic Channel ≥ $75
Paramount Network -
Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) ≥ $55 ≥ $65
VH1 -

Hulu + Live TV ($45) vs. AT&T TV ‘Choice’ ($60) Plan

One of the cheapest streaming options is Hulu Live TV, which comes with locals, regional sports, and 24 Top Cable Channels for just $45 a month.

Service Year 1 Year 2 Total
Hulu + Live TV $540 $540 $1,080
AT&T TV $780 $1,320 $2,100

Compared to AT&T TV Choice plan ($65 —> $110 second year), you get AMC & Viacom channels for essentially $1,000 more over 2 years (and $780 every year after that).

Differences of Top Channels Between Plans
Hulu AT&T TV
Sign Up Free Trial
$45 $60–$80
AMC -
BET -
Comedy Central -
Golf Channel ≥ $75
Hallmark -
MLB Network - ≥ $65
MTV -
Nickelodeon -
Olympic Channel ≥ $75
Paramount Network -
Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) ≥ $65
Tennis Channel - ≥ $65
VH1 -
WE tv -

fuboTV Family Bundle ($60) vs. AT&T TV ‘Xtra’ ($75) Plan

If you’re willing to forgo ESPN and Disney Channel, you can have the nearly identical channel line-up as fuboTV at $55 a month, or $60 if you want to add a 500 Hour DVR and 3 Simultaneous Streams.

Service Year 1 Year 2 Total
fuboTV $720 $720 $1,440
AT&T TV $960 $1,488 $2,448

You’ll also get NFL Network, which AT&T TV doesn’t carry, as well as CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, FXM, FYI, Golf Channel, NBA TV, which require AT&T TV Xtra which goes up to $124 a month after paying $80 in your first year.

And strangely enough, fuboTV carries AT&T SportsNet Southwest in Houston, while AT&T TV doesn’t.

Differences of Top Channels Between Plans
fuboTV AT&T TV
Free Trial Free Trial
$55 $60–$80
beIN Sports -
Disney Channel -
Disney Junior -
Eleven Sports -
ESPN -
ESPNEWS - ≥ $65
Freeform -
Golf Channel ≥ $75
MLB Network - ≥ $65
NBA TV ≥ $75
NFL Network -
Olympic Channel ≥ $75
Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) ≥ $65
Tennis Channel ^ $11 ≥ $65

Is AT&T TV Revolutionary?

The most revolutionary part of AT&T TV is that they ship a Android TV streaming box with a remote with channel numbers. Other than that, they’re just trying to fool people to pay $500-$1,000 more a year than they have to when they could just stream live TV with no contracts, no early termination fees, and no regional sports fees.

So who is subscribing to this? If you do want a fat bundle, you’re better off sticking with DIRECTV for now — you’re more likely to get your locals and Regional Sports Network, and a better quality service, at the same price as AT&T TV. And if you aren’t a DIRECTV subscriber, you’re better off keeping your cable plan or switching to a much more affordable Live TV Streaming Service.