AT&T unveiled its new AT&T TV streaming service this week, and already analysts have their doubts. Nearly every major telecom provider and media company has jumped into the streaming market in recent years in an attempt to carve out their own niche of the latest revolution in video. While AT&T TV offers an attractive set of features, some observers have noted that many of the worst parts of cable seem to have inexplicably also been included with this new streaming service. Is AT&T tone deaf to what cable cutters actually want?
AT&T announced the new AT&T TV in a press release this week. Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Consumer, says the new service was designed around what consumers want. “Our customers told us what they want from their TV service and we built AT&T TV around that,” said Arroyo. “AT&T TV is live TV made easy and when you add AT&T TV to our amazing 1 gigabit AT&T Internet you can’t go wrong.”
AT&T TV is your basic live TV hybrid, blending over 100 live channels with over 40,000 on-demand titles depending on which tier subscribers choose. Many of the most popular channels are included such as ESPN, FS1, TBS, CBS, TNT, and more.
AT&T also includes a 500-hour cloud DVR, voice remote with Google Assistant, and many top streaming apps like Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube all for just $39.99 a month. With such top-tier features, how could AT&T TV go wrong?
Unfortunately, AT&T seems to have forgotten why so many households have cut the cable: hidden fees, obfuscated fine print, and large bills. According to Vice, AT&T TV’s claimed low prices are only good for twelve months, after which they increase sharply. There are also hidden activation fees, hidden fees for regional sports networks, and early termination fees. While one AT&T TV set top box comes with a subscription, each additional box costs $120.
The inclusion of all of these surcharges and fees is surprising given that hidden fees and rising prices are one of the main reasons many households are killing the cable bill. Will AT&T be able to survive once subscribers catch on?