DirecTV Now Confirms $10/Month Price Hike for Existing Users, Raises HBO From $5 to $15/Month for New Add-Ons
In the wake of reports that claimed DirecTV Now was planning to raise prices for its customers again, the streaming service today posted a new FAQ page confirming that all existing customers will see a $10/month price hike effective April 12, 2019 (via Variety). This means that if you are currently subscribed to DirecTV Now's Live a Little, Just Right, Go Big, Gotta Have It, or Todo y Más packages, you will pay $10/month more than you are now.
At the same time, DirecTV Now has confirmed that it is raising the price of its premium channel add-ons, but only for legacy subscribers who are now adding these channels onto their plans. This means that HBO is increasing from a $5/month add-on to $15/month, Cinemax is increasing from $5/month to $11/month, and Starz is increasing from $8/month to $11/month. This change takes effect today, March 13.
If you subscribe to Live a Little, Just Right, Go Big, Gotta Have It, or Todo y Más packages and had a premium channel add-on prior to these changes, you will keep your current lower price as long as the premium remains added on your account. So, these new premium channel prices are aimed at legacy DirecTV Now customers who subscribe to one of the five original packages, and decide to add HBO, Cinemax, or Starz onto their account as of today.
Cheap premium channel add-ons have been a major selling point for DirecTV Now, but now that the subscription tier line-up will be slimmed down and HBO will be added directly into the new DirecTV Now Plus and DirecTV Now Max plans, it appears that the company has decided to do away with this selling point. This is likely due to the new assets that AT&T gained from the Time Warner acquisition, including the HBO family of channels.
We broke down all of these changes below:
DirecTV Now Price Hike
(Affects all existing customers from April 12, 2019)
- Live a Little: from $40/month to $50/month
- Just Right: from $55/month to $65/month
- Go Big: from $65/month to $75/month
- Gotta Have It: from $75/month to $85/month
- Todo y Más: from $45/month to $55/month
DirecTV Now Premium Channel Price Hike
(Affects existing customers who add a premium channel from March 13, 2019)
- HBO add-on: from $5/month to $15/month
- Cinemax add-on: from $5/month to $11/month
- Starz add-on: from $8/month to $11/month
Customers who keep paying for the service on one of these packages will not see any changes to their channel lineups. For new customers, DirecTV Now will have two new plans: DirecTV Now Plus ($50/month, 40+ channels) and DirecTV Now Max ($70/month, 50+ channels). Both of these plans include HBO, as well as cable channels from WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, Disney and Fox, but they exclude channels from A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery, and Viacom.
As these new packages launch, new customers will no longer be able to sign up for Live a Little, Just Right, Go Big, Gotta Have It, or Todo y Más packages, and will only see Plus and Max as options on DirecTV Now's sign up page. The company is already promoting Plus and Max on its website, and giving one month for free to new customers signing up with the promo code MARCH2019.
As a point of comparison, DirecTV Now's cheapest plans ($50/month for both Live a Little and Plus) do not compare very favorably to rival services. PlayStation Vue starts at $44.99/month, YouTube TV starts at $40/month, FuboTV starts at $39.99/month, Hulu With Live TV costs $44.99/month, and SlingTV's Orange & Blue plan is priced at $40/month (just $25/month right now). That's not to mention services which have launched to offer ultra-stripped down packages, like Philo's no-sports service that starts at $16/month.
Last summer's DirecTV Now price hike from $35/month to $40/month was in an effort to align the service with the rest of the market and "compare favorably with our competitors," according to the company. Now, DirecTV Now will have the most expensive entry-level price on the market among the main streaming TV services.