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AT&T TV, DirecTV Add Free Year of HBO

(Image credit: AT&T)

AT&T continues to fine-tune its video strategy as it seeks to transition the bulk of its pay TV subscriber base to its new internet-delivered premium service, AT&T TV.

AT&T TV subscribers will now have a year of free HBO service when they sign up. The will also receive three free months of Showtime, Starz, Epix and Cinemax. 

Update: New DirecTV sign-ups have also been offered a free year of HBO. 

The offers appear to be separate from AT&T’s #ConnectedTogether campaign, which is currently offering free premium channel content to DirecTV, U-Verse, AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now subscribers.

The telco is also looking to reposition its skinner virtual pay TV service, AT&T TV Now, lowering the price by $10 to $55 a month, but stripping it of its free HBO perk. (The premium channel is now available to new AT&T TV Now subscribers as a $10-a-month add-on.)

Also read: AT&T TV: Everything You Need to Know About the Streaming Version of AT&T’s Premium Pay TV Service

The moves come as the COVID-19 pandemic crisis dampens AT&T’s hopes for a turnaround in its pay TV business, which lost nearly 5 million users last year. 

Last week, MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett said that instead of an earlier projection, which called for AT&T’s pay TV base to shrink by 13.1% in 2020 to 16.9 million subscribers, he now believes it will now decline by 16.6% to 16.2 million customers. 

Also read: AT&T, DirecTV Set to Be Hit Hard by COVID-19 Recession: Analyst

AT&T last week revealed that it’s no longer adding new customers to its legacy IPTV platform, U-verse. And it’s working to transition much of its DirecTV customer base to AT&T TV.

“That would have been a difficult transition under the best of circumstances. These aren’t the best of circumstances,” Moffett said.