AT&T drops DirecTV and U-verse prices, looks to slow declines

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DirecTV will throw in three free months of premium channels, NFL Sunday Ticket and an HD DVR, for those signing up for a two-year commitment. 

Having shed nearly 400,000 linear pay-TV customers in the third quarter, AT&T has cut prices for some of its DirecTV and U-verse packages.

As discovered by TV Answer Man blogger Phillip Swann, DirecTV’s 150-channel “Select” bundle, which was previously offered at $50 a month for the first year of a two-year contract, will now sell at a year-one price of $35 a month, dropping to just $76 a month in the second year vs. $90. 

A number of other DirecTV bundles—“Entertainment,” “Choice,” “Xtra,” “Ultimate” and “Premier”— will have similar monthly price drops in the first year of around $10 to $15, with smaller second-year discounts factored in as well. 

DirecTV is also throwing in three free months of premium channels HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax, as well as NFL Sunday Ticket and an HD DVR, for those signing up for a two-year commitment. 

RELATED: AT&T says it lost 390K linear pay-TV subscribers in Q3

AT&T is also offering sweetening promos for its previously forsaken U-verse IPTV platform, lowering first-year prices for four of its bundles by as much as $50 a month. For example, the primo U450 plan is now $75 a month for the first year of a two-year contract instead of $125. 

The steep discounts come as AT&T is seeing faster erosion on the linear side than it anticipated. The company’s 1-year-old virtual MVPD, DirecTV Now, grew by around 300,000 customers in the third quarter, but AT&T insisted that most of that growth came from new customers and not cannibalization of core linear platforms. 

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