AT&T WatchTV subscribers can now add HBO as a premium add-on for just $14.99 per month. This marks the first time that AT&T has lowered the cost of an HBO subscription through its budget live TV streaming service.
AT&T WatchTV launched in 2018 and since then, it has largely remained stuck in a time loop. The service hasn’t really changed, the price and channel lineup has remained the same, and the general lack of attention has often led to suggestions that AT&T plans to shut the service down. Another area that hasn’t really changed is the premium add-ons, and their comparably high cost.
HBO has been available to AT&T WatchTV subscribers for some time. However, it has always been priced at $17.99 per month, making it one of the most expensive ways to access the service, including subscribing to HBO directly. However, this week AT&T lowered the cost down to $14.99 per month.
This does not seem to be a limited-time discounted price, but a permanent price change. A quick check using the Internet Archive show’s the previous higher price was still in effect as recently as June 12, 2020.
The confusing world of HBO
Besides the elevated price that existing AT&T customers were charged for access to HBO through AT&T WatchTV, there remains the confusion around the HBO GO and HBO NOW apps. A level of confusion which only intensified when HBO Max entered the scene, and especially as the HBO NOW app on most platforms was automatically updated and became the HBO Max app.
While confusing, the main difference between GO and NOW has always been the method of subscribing. For example, GO is aimed at those who have subscribed via a TV package, and includes the linear versions of the channels. In contrast, NOW is a streaming-only version that does not require another plan or package. While not a traditional TV package, the HBO subscription offered through AT&T WatchTV has always been the GO version. AT&T has generally justified the higher price point through reasons including, access to the linear versions of the channels.
Now, AT&T is planning on shutting down the HBO GO version of the app on July 31, 2020, with the HBO NOW app on platforms that have not been updated to HBO Max, being rebranded as the standard HBO app.
What about HBO Max for WatchTV subscribers?
While the AT&T WatchTV website has been updated to reflect the price change, the pages (and the help section) do not make any new references to HBO Max. Instead, they simply continue to promote the access to linear channels and point the user to the HBO GO app experience – which we now know is closing down next month.
Furthermore, AT&T WatchTV is still not listed as a separate supported provider on the HBO Max website, and is still listed as a provider on the HBO GO website.
However, after reaching out through WatchTV’s online chat, an AT&T representative explained that if adding HBO through WatchTV, the subscriber would gain access to HBO Max, and not just the standard version of HBO.
Providing the information is correct, the reduction in price down from $17.99 to $14.99 would seem to further suggest that AT&T WatchTV’s access to HBO is now in the process of falling in line with the streaming side of HBO NOW/Max, and moving away from the GO side. Similar to how the company offers HBO through AT&T TV NOW.
If that is the case, then adding HBO through AT&T WatchTV might now be a more viable option than it ever was before.
Source: AT&T WatchTV