The increase does put the base price on par with what you'd get from the likes of YouTube TV or PlayStation Vue, or Sling TV's combined Orange and Blue package. And AT&T was quick to point out that its $15 WatchTV service was available for those who are content with a more modest selection of channels. Still, this does eliminate DirecTV Now's price advantage over its competitors -- you now have to decide more on content (and wireless bundle discounts) than standard pricing.
It's also hard to ignore the timing. The hike comes just a couple of weeks after AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner, and mere days after the telecom quitely raised administrative fees. The company appears to be eager for whatever revenue sources it can find to help cover the cost of the $85 billion Time Warner buyout, not to mention compensate for the decline of conventional TV.
"In the 18 months since our launch, we have continued to evolve our DIRECTV NOW products to serve this new customer set and compare favorably with our competitors. To continue delivering the best possible streaming experience for both new and existing customers, we're bringing the cost of this service in line with the market—which starts at a $40 price point."