AT&T confirms DirecTV Now changes; Viacom, Discovery, AMC tumble

|About: AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX)|By:, SA News Editor

AT&T (T -1%) has confirmed heavy changes to its DirecTV Now streaming service, The Verge notes, with added HBO but higher prices and the removal of several popular channels for new subscribers.

The company announced yesterday it was readying two bundles for launch at $50/month and $70/month. But the $50 plan is now the most expensive base plan of the five rivals in the streaming live TV space (which includes Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue (SNE +1%), Sling TV (DISH -0.3%) and YouTube TV (GOOG +0.4%, GOOGL +0.7%)).

And while the company's adding HBO to the new plans, it's dropping channels from AMC Networks (AMCX -3.3%), Viacom (VIA -1.4%, VIAB -2.2%) and Discovery (DISCA -2.3%), including HGTV, A&E, MTV, TLC and Nickelodeon, among others. Shares in those companies are dropping quickly.

Existing customers will be able to keep their current plans, but those with HBO will need to pay $15/month now rather than $5/month, a move that will serve to push them to one of the two new offerings.

Of the five streaming-live TV rivals, only Sling continues to offer the Viacom networks.

Hulu, for now, is co-owned by Disney (NYSE:DIS), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Fox (FOX, FOXA) and AT&T's WarnerMedia.

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