AT&T’s DirecTV Now Tries Luring Subscribers With Free HBO


AT&T is hoping that promotions can keep bringing in new subscribers for the DirecTV Now live-streaming television service.

The telecoms giant recently announced that, for a limited time, customers can receive a full year of HBO for no additional cost if they sign up for one of DirecTV Now’s two pricier subscription tiers. That means savings of $60 for the full year--HBO usually costs an extra $5 per month for DirecTV Now subscribers. The catch? It only applies to either the Go Big channel tier (which offers 100 channels for $60 per month) or for the Gotta Have It option (120 channels for $70 per month).

The offer is just the latest in a seemingly endless parade of offers trying to lure television viewers towards the over-the-top service and away from cable packages. For example, in a separate promotion, the company is also offering customers a free Apple TV streaming device if they pay upfront for three months of DirecTV Now service. AT&T also previously offered the bundled HBO promotion to existing customers, before announcing on a company forum over the weekend that the deal is now open to new customers, too.

And when DirecTV Now launched in November, AT&T offered a limited promotion that gave introductory subscribers access to 100 channels for just $35 per month--a push that helped the service pull in more than 200,000 subscribers in its first month.



The HBO promotional offer comes as AT&T


continues to move closer to obtaining regulatory approval for its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner


, which owns HBO along with a host of other media assets. That merger, as well as the launch of DirecTV Now, are part of AT&T’s ongoing plan to embrace vertical integration as a wireless provider that is also a giant in the areas of content production and distribution. (That plan also includes something called “zero rating,” where DirecTV Now subscribers with AT&T wireless service are able to stream an unlimited about of video from DirecTV Now without it affecting their data limit.)

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These promotions and bundles are also meant to better help AT&T compete with a growing list of rivals in the live-streaming TV field, where Dish Network’s


Sling TV and Sony’s


Playstation Vue have already been active for some time. Just last month, Google


entered the fray with its own live-TV online subscription service called YouTube TV, while Hulu (which is backed by several major broadcast networks) is set to launch its competing service in the coming months.

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