Bad news for cord-cutters — one of your options is getting pricier.
DirecTV Stream (previously AT&T TV, AT&T TV Now before that and originally DirecTV Now) is getting a price hike across the board. A DirecTV spokesperson told Tom's Guide that "As we always do, last Monday we made pricing resources available online and began proactively notifying customers that they will see a slight increase on their bills in 2023." How slight is slight? All plans are increasing by at least $5 a month, with even DirecTV Now legacy plans getting a price hike, as seen here.
These price hikes will start on January 22, 2023, and there is no way to avoid it. Due to DirecTV Stream’s monthly payment structure, there is no way to grandfather yourself in for a lower price like users were able to do with the Disney Plus price hike.
The Entertainment option, DirecTV Stream's entry-level tier which gives customers more than 75 channels and the ability to stream to unlimited devices. This plan had cost $69 a month and will now cost $74 a month.
But for sports fans, this price hike may turn you off the service altogether. To get access to regional sports networks (i.e. the channels that many of your local teams play most of their games on) you’ll have to pay $99 a month, a whopping $10 price increase over the previous $89 a month price point.
For legacy customers, “Live a Little” plans will increase by $5 a month, “Just Right” plans increase by $8 a month, and the “Go Big” and “Gotta Have It” packages will both increase by $10 a month. AT&T TV Now legacy plans will see their “Plus” and “Max” plans increase by $10 a month as well.
DirecTV Stream price hike at a glance
|DirecTV Stream tier
|New monthly price
|Old monthly price
In a statement to The Streamable, DirecTV said that the blame for this was due to content providers (networks) charging rate increases that “far outpace inflation.” However, given that the entirety of our list of the best cable TV alternatives is cheaper than DirecTV Stream — and frankly already was — this price hike is a tough pill to swallow.
That said, DirecTV Stream won our comparison of which service offers more of the 100 most popular channels, so those who want more will continue to pay a little more for it. Especially for the aforementioned sports networks.
Analysis: What should you do?
So if you were a DirecTV Stream customer and are looking to switch, or now are no longer considering the DirecTV-backed streaming service, consider the other option on our best cable alternatives buying guide.
My personal favorite is YouTube TV. I cut the cord for YouTube TV over a year ago and I’m never going back, especially since its key plays feature is a huge win for avid sports watchers like me. Whichever you decide, there’s never been a better time to ditch cable for a cable alternative.
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Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.
Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.