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Best AT&T TV NOW Plan: Plus & Max Channels Comparison


Best AT&T TV NOW plan

AT&T TV Now is no longer available and has been replaced with DirecTV Stream. Check out our DirecTV Stream section for updated information on this live TV service, including the channel lineup and our review.

If you’re considering streaming TV through AT&T then you’ll most likely be going with either the Plus or Max plan. To know which is the best AT&T TV NOW plan for you, it is important to know what you get with each plan and how they compare overall. Below you’ll find a full breakdown of all the channels you get with the Plus and Max plans, as well as any other notable differences.

AT&T TV NOW used to be DIRECTV NOW although the service went through a rebranding in 2019. This also resulted in some changes to the channel lineups and prices. Right now, AT&T TV NOW offers two main plan options. These are the Plus and Max plans. Of the two, Plus is the entry-level plan and costs $55 per month. In contrast, the more premium Max plan is priced at $80 per month.

For those monthly fees, the Plus plan provides access to more than 45 channels. This compares to the Max with access to more than 60 channels, including two premium networks.

Plus and Max channels comparison

Generally speaking, the Plus and Max plans are the same plan. For example, the Max plan contains all of the same channels as Plus. As a result, the main difference is in the additional channels you get with Max.

Below is a list of every channel you currently get with the Plus and Max plans. This list is updated regularly with the latest changes taking place on April 25, 2020.

Plus and Max full channel list:

Cartoon Network
CBS Sports Network
CNBC World
Comedy Central
Disney Channel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
Fox Business Network
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 2
FX Movie Channel
Golf Channel
Hallmark Channel
HBO Family
HBO Latino
Longhorn Network
My Network TV
Nat Geo WILD
National Geographic
Nick Jr.
Olympic Channel
SEC Network
Spectrum SportsNet
Tennis Channel
TV Land
Universal Kids
USA Network
YES Network

It is worth noting that this is not an absolute list as subscribers will also gain access to various locals and Regional Sports Networks, depending on their location. Interested consumers can head to the AT&T TV NOW locals page and enter their ZIP code to check what locals and RSNs are available in their area..

Max channels not available with Plus

Although you can scan through the table above to see exactly what channels you don’t get when opting for the Plus plan, the missing channels are also listed below for easy reference.

ActionMaxFox Sports 2Paramount
BTNGolf ChannelSEC Network
CBS Sports NetworkHBOSpectrum SportsNet
CinemaxLonghorn NetworkTennis Channel
ESPNUOlympic Channel

If you don’t need any of these extra channels, then there’s no need to go for the Max plan. The cost of accessing these additional channels is an additional $25 per month.

Plus vs Max: Premium channels

Like most live TV services, Plus and Max subscribers also have the option of expanding their base TV package by adding premium networks, at an additional cost.

Plus & Max premium networks and prices:

Movies Extra Pack$5

However, as is often the case with AT&T, things are not that simple. The Max plan does come with some premium networks included in the base package, while the Plus plan doesn’t.

Plus versus Max: HBO

If you need access to HBO then that may (or may not) affect which plan you go for. The Max plan does include HBO for free, but the Plus plan does not.

Previously, HBO was included for free with the Plus plan as well making the difference between the plans even less. However, in April 2020, AT&T adjusted the Plus plan by removing HBO. This wasn’t just a removal of HBO as the change also brought with it a rare price reduction as well. The Plus plan was previously priced at $65 per month.

Overall, this change marked a reduction in the value the Plus plan offers, considering the price dropped by $10 with a $15 add-on removed.

However, this is where the may not matter point comes in. Plus subscribers who only want access to HBO on top of their live TV base plan can opt to add it as an add-on (or subscribe to HBO separately) for an additional $15 per month. This will bring the Plus + HBO price to $70 per month, resulting in a $10 saving compared to the Max plan.

In fact, AT&T currently allows new Plus subscribers to add HBO at a discounted $10 per month (for the first year), resulting in the exact same plan and price as before.

Plus versus Max: Cinemax

Another major difference between the two plans is the inclusion of Cinemax. Just like HBO, Cinemax is included for free with Max, but not Plus. Therefore, Max subscribers save an additional $11 per month, compared to the price Plus subscribers have to pay if adding Cinemax to their subscription.

However, at $11 per month, AT&T actually overcharges for Cinemax. Amazon Prime members and Hulu on-demand subscribers can get Cinemax for $9.99 per month. If you’re not a Prime member or Hulu subscriber, then The Roku Channel and Apple TV also both offer Cinemax at $9.99 per month.

If you happen to already be a subscriber to both HBO and Cinemax then the Max plan is likely to be a good choice for you.

HBO and Cinemax together is a major difference

A major benefit of the Max plan is the access to some premium networks at no additional cost. For example, Max subscribers typically save $14.99 per month thanks to the inclusion of HBO. Similarly, they also save an additional $11 per month due to the inclusion of Cinemax. When added together the difference in plans becomes more apparent.

The additional non-premium channels you get with Max are unlikely to be worth the extra cost on their own. However, when factoring in the $26 combined add-on total for HBO and Cinemax, the $25 difference between the two plans is removed completely. Essentially, Max subscribers are getting the additional non-premium channels for free.

Of course, this only applies if the subscriber wants access to both HBO and Cinemax and is willing to pay full price for both, and every single month.

Best AT&T TV NOW plan summary

If you’re not interested in either HBO or Cinemax then the Max plan is unlikely to be the right option for you. While they are included with the plan for free, the Max plan is $80 per month and that’s an expensive price compared to other live TV streaming services.

Yes, you’ll make savings if you’re a HBO or Cinemax subscriber already, but both of these can be added to the Plus plan as add-ons. The added benefit of going the add-on route is the ability to remove either premium network during months they are not being used. You don’t get that choice with Max and will have to pay the full $80 every month, regardless of whether you are accessing the premium networks or not.

Overall, this makes the Plus plan the best AT&T TV NOW plan. While you do get more channels in general with Max, the $25 price difference is a major difference. If those channels matter, then you’ll probably save more, and have more luck getting a channel lineup that better suits your individual needs by opting for a different live TV streaming service altogether.

The only exception to this is for those who are (or plan to be) subscribers to both HBO and Cinemax. In this particular instance, the Max plan becomes the better option due to the inclusion of the additional non-premium channels at no extra cost.

Plus and Max alternatives

The Plus and Max plans are AT&T TV NOW’s main packages. However, that’s not to say they are the only options available to consumers. In addition to Plus and Max, AT&T TV NOW also offers some additional plans to choose from.

AT&T TV NOW’s other packages and monthly prices:

Óptimo Más$86

Besides the plans listed above, there are also many live TV streaming services now available including fuboTV, Hulu Live, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. These services do vary on price and channel lineups compared to AT&T TV NOW, so consumers may find an option that better suits their individual needs.

John Finn


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