In what was a very uncharacteristic move by AT&T TV NOW, the service’s Plus package recently encountered a price drop. At the time it was evident that the reduction in price also resulted in a removal of HBO from the bundled channel lineup. However, here’s the real reason why AT&T removed HBO and lowered the Plus price plan.
AT&T rarely does anything without a clear motive and that is especially true when it comes to price drops. As is often the case with any service, lowering the price is usually not something that’s solely designed for the benefit of the consumer, but typically a good marketing ploy. Which appears to be exactly the case with the recent AT&T TV NOW Plus price drop down from $65 per month to $55 per month.
AT&T has now updated its HBO Max page to confirm that the AT&T TV NOW Max plan will come with HBO Max included for free. Here’s the confirmed list of plans and packages that will come with HBO Max included at no additional cost:
- DIRECTV PREMIER
- DIRECTV LO MAXIMO
- U400 and U450 TV
- AT&T TV Now Max
- AT&T Unlimited Elite wireless plan
However, the more revealing point is that the page also makes it clear that HBO Max is now being marketed as free for all customers who already get HBO for free. Here’s the quote in full:
HBO Max has all your favorites, all in one place. Plus, it will be included with any AT&T plan that currently includes HBO.AT&T
HBO had do be dropped to ensure consistent marketing
Essentially, AT&T had no choice but to drop HBO as a bundled Plus channel if it wanted to go with this universal “included with any AT&T plan that currently includes HBO” line. Otherwise, the company would have been forced to offer Plus subscribers HBO Max for free, and that was always something that seemed unlikely.
By removing HBO and changing it to an add-on, the company has opened up the path to make it clear that if you already get HBO for free with an AT&T service, then you’ll get HBO Max for free.
Of course, simply removing HBO from the cheaper AT&T TV NOW plan without actually making any changes to the pricing would have likely resulted in even more subscriber outrage aimed at the service, considering AT&T TV NOW has consistently lost channels while the price has continuously increased.
With HBO having been included for free with AT&T TV NOW plans as a means to offset against those price rises and lost channels, simply removing HBO months later would not have been a wise marketing move. Therefore, the company made the choice to lower the cost, change HBO to add-on status, and then run with the ‘everyone who gets HBO, gets HBO Max’ marketing message.