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AT&T TV Now lost 27,000 subscribers during the last three months of 2020, adding to the losses experienced by the live TV streaming service over the year in general. However, with AT&T TV Now no longer operational, the subscriber picture is likely to be a little murkier going forward than it was three months ago.
AT&T TV NOW lost 37,000 subscribers during the third quarter of 2020, 68,000 subscribers during the second quarter, and 138,000 during the first quarter of the year. These were not isolated losses, however, with AT&T also losing plenty of what it refers to as ‘premium TV subscribers’ in general. For reference, AT&T uses this classification to collectively reference DirecTV, U-verse, and AT&T TV subscribers.
In its latest quarterly release, AT&T confirmed it lost 617,000 premium TV subscribers during the final months of 2020, a result of competition and a programming dispute, among other reasons. The announcement also confirmed that AT&T TV Now lost 27,000 subscribers. At the same time, AT&T stated that AT&T TV gains helped to offset the total number of lost premium TV subscribers.
Outside of its live TV products, AT&T confirmed that it closed out 2020 with 41 million combined HBO Max and HBO subscribers in the U.S., 61 million worldwide. In terms of the fourth quarter, AT&T stated new HBO Max activations doubled, compared to the quarter before.
AT&T TV Now bows out with more losses
At the beginning of 2021, AT&T confirmed it was effectively shuttering the AT&T TV Now brand by merging the service with AT&T TV. As a result, AT&T TV Now is no longer available to new subscribers with those attempting to sign up redirected to AT&T TV plans instead. Considering the subscriber losses that AT&T TV Now had encountered throughout 2020 (and even earlier), it is not surprising the company opted to bring the two brands together. If AT&T TV is proving to be a better sell, then it makes sense for the company to merge the two.
However, without a breakdown and separation of the Now and non-Now versions of AT&T TV, it might become a little harder to understand exactly where AT&T sits in the market in the future. AT&T TV offers both traditional contract-based subscriptions as well as the Now replacement no-contract plans. With these all now falling under the single ‘AT&T TV’ umbrella, it would seem likely that quarterly results going forward will simply include the one AT&T TV number, inclusive of both contact and no-contract subscribers.
Of course, that’s even if AT&T does provide specific numbers for the live TV streaming side of its business. Considering DirecTV, U-verse, and AT&T TV subscriber numbers tend to be collectively declared as ‘premium TV subscribers’ it might be even harder to tell exactly how many no-contract live TV streaming subscribers AT&T has in the future.