AT&T launched AT&T TV today. With a new service now here, it is worth taking a moment to be aware of how much AT&T TV costs. The true AT&T TV cost.
AT&T TV comes with HBO, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME and STARZ for free. That's the good news.
Well, free for a limited time as the free access only extends to the first three months.
The free premium channels are also available through any of the AT&T TV packages, including the baseline "Entertainment" plan.
The Entertainment plan costs $59.99 per month initially. Based on AT&T's calculations, you'll be saving $48 per month compared to paying for the premium networks.
The small print also points out these premium networks auto-renew. Therefore it will be up to the customer to cancel to ensure they are not charged for all four services once the three-month period ends.
AT&T TV is all about the contracts
While this is a decent promotion for new customers, the small print is likely to put a number of streamers off. For example, this is not a pay-as-you-go service. That's what AT&T TV NOW is for.
In contrast to the many services that let you opt-in and out at any time, AT&T wants you to sign up to a two-year agreement for AT&T TV. That's the first true AT&T TV cost.
What's more, the prices quoted are only the starting prices. The second year, for example, they rocket. To put this into perspective, the Entertainment plan jumps from $59.99 per month to $93 per month in the second year.
The other three plans on offer are all more expensive plans to begin with. Likewise, they all shoot passed the $100 per month marker in the second year.
Again, those prices are without the additional premium network added on. Paying the $48 per month price quoted by AT&T for the premium networks on AT&T TV's most expensive "Ultimate" plan would mean that in the second year you are paying $183 per month.
There's more added costs
If $183 was not high enough for you, that's not the end of it. For example, AT&T states there's also a Regional Sports Fee. This comes in at $8.95 per month and this applies to all plans except Entertainment. It seems as though regional sports might not be available with the most affordable AT&T TV plan.
In addition, some customers might also be liable for a device fee.
You get an Android TV set-top box, but only one
Yes, this service includes a set-top box and one that's powered by Android TV. It also includes a number of additional benefits such as access to "40,000 on-demand titles & live TV," "500 hours of Cloud DVR storage" and "access to 5,000+ apps like Netflix & Pandora."
As well as a voice-assisted remote control and Google Assistant.
However, you only get one set-top box for free. Households that might need an additional set-top box (for another room, maybe) will have to pay an additional fee for that box.
Those extra set-top boxes will cost you an additional $10 per month, apiece.
Don't forget about the other hidden fees
As is the case with many traditional TV packages, there are usually more additional fees and costs involved. These seem to be present with AT&T TV as well.
For example, there's a $19.99 "activation fee." It is currently unclear if this is waived for those who sign up during the early stages, but either way it's listed in the small print.
Then there's the usual "early termination fees. In this case, this amounts to $15 per month.
With so many fees and costs lurking, you probably won't be that surprised to hear AT&T wants paying customers who are reliable. You can take that to mean you will need to be "approved" before you get AT&T TV.
Don't forget, though, HBO, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME and STARZ are free… for three months.