AT&T is no longer a traditional TV provider, at least for new customers.
U-verse (their old IPTV product), DirectTV Now (their now-retired streaming service), and AT&T TV Now (yet another streaming service), have all been scrapped to focus on the company’s primary entertainment offering: AT&T TV.
What makes AT&T TV unique is that it’s technically a streaming service, but it includes all the channels associated with premium cable TV bundles — namely, regional sports.
All this means you can purchase it regardless of your internet provider, even if AT&T internet isn’t in your area. This makes it a particularly compelling service for Spectrum and Comcast Xfinity TV customers, who pay $20–40+ more per month for equivalent live TV and sports channels.
AT&T TV: Streaming Service Highlights
- Price: The Choice plan is $84.99/month and avoids the regional sports fee of the lowest-priced plan. Higher-tier plans cost $94.99/month and $139/month.
- Regional Sports Networks: AT&T TV stands out among cord-cutting services for their selection. They have all regional sports networks with only a few exceptions, like NBC Sports Northwest (Portland, Oregon), NBC Sports Philadelphia, and NBC Sports Washington (Washington, D.C.).
- Channels: You’ll get 90+ channels with the recommended Choice plan, with all the expected sports channels like ESPN, Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Networks, TBS, TNT, plus the likes of MLB Network, NBA TV, and SEC Network. CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, Golf Channel, NHL Network, and Olympic Channel are on the next plan tier up (Ultimate at $94.99/month).
- Stream Limit: Up to 20 at the same time at home with some channels limited to three streams at a time (mostly sports channels). Away from home, the limit is three streams.
- DVR: This is a weak point as AT&T TV only has 20 hours of cloud DVR, and those hours expire in 90 days. You can add $10/month for unlimited hours (that still expire in 90 days). The DVR has unlimited storage on their two-year contract plans... but the overall price is $30+ higher.
- Best For: People who want regional sports networks but don’t want to deal with and/or pay for cable or satellite. Heavy DVR users may want to look elsewhere too.
AT&T Sports Packages
AT&T TV offers none of its own sports packages (only supported access to NBA League Pass, which adds $199.99/year to the cost for the main plan).
However, the service is still a standout among cord-cutting options because it’s the only one that carries nearly all regional sports networks. As of 2021, all other live TV streaming services like YouTube TV, FuboTV, and etc., have dropped several regional sports networks (especially the Sinclair-owned Fox regional sports networks).
AT&T TV does not include NFL Sunday Ticket
You can get the DirecTV Sports Pack for $13.99/month through AT&T’s subsidiary and satellite TV provider, and that package comes with more than 35 regional and specialty sports networks. It’s a great option if you’re open to paying the high price for satellite TV. Learn more about DirecTV at the end of this section.
There are multiple levels of services with AT&T TV. And they grow if you’re open to a two-year contract (not recommended). Here’s a breakdown of your choices with no annual contract:
- Entertainment ($69.99/month + $8.49/month regional sports fee): Features 65+ channels including ESPN/ESPN2, Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, TBS, TNT, and regional sports networks. It’s the only level of no-contract plans requiring the regional sports fee.
- Choice ($84.99/month): Featuring 90+ channels (including one year of HBO Max plus Cooking Channel and Game Show Network) and adds sports channels like ESPNEWS/ESPNU, MLB Network, NBA TV, SEC Network, and Tennis Channel.
- Ultimate ($94.99/month): Featuring 130+ channels (including one year of HBO Max plus Starz Encore and Lifetime Movies) and adds sports channels like CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, Golf Channel, NHL Network, and Olympic Channel.
- Premier ($139.99/month): Featuring 140+ channels (including HBO Max plus Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax) and adds no sports channels.
Note that the plans with no annual contract have no typical price jumps that take place with traditional cable/satellite providers or in AT&T TV’s two-year contract plans. You’ll only receive 20 hours of cloud DVR (add $10/month for unlimited hours), and hours expire in 90 days. The regional sports fee is included in no-contract plans for the Choice Package and above.
2-Year Contract Plans with AT&T TV
These plans feature lower first-year pricing and include unlimited hours of cloud DVR (expire in 90 days).
The drawback of a two-year contract is that your price increases dramatically in the second year of service, you’re on the hook for regional sports fee of $8.49/month for Choice Package and up, and early cancellation fees up to $360 apply if you cancel early.
As far as the setup goes, you can watch it with a compatible device (as with any streaming service) or get an AT&T TV device (extra charge) for a similar setup to cable.
AT&T TV vs Streaming Service Alternatives
Overall, AT&T TV is cheaper than a traditional cable bundle but $20 or so more expensive than what you expect from streaming services like YouTube TV.
Again, the key difference is the sports programming. AT&T is the only company ponying up for the regional sports networks outside cable, and considering that the pricing is actually pretty good.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of how the low and mid-tier AT&T TV plans compare with equivalent plans from Spectrum cable and the top streaming services (YouTube TV, Sling, FuboTV):
|TV Service||Monthly Promo Price||Monthly Regular Price||Channels||Other Fees?|
|AT&T TV Choice||$84.99||90+||No|
|AT&T TV Ultimate||$94.99||130+||No|
|DirecTV Choice||$64.99 for 12 months||$102||185+||$9.99 regional sports fee**|
|Spectrum Select||$44.99 for 12 months||$73.99||125+||At least $24.44/month*|
|Spectrum Silver||$79.99 for 12 months||$108.99||175+||At least $24.44/month*|
|Hulu + Live TV||$64.99||65+||No|
|Sling TV Combined||$50||40+||No|
Of course, the real question here is: what sports are you getting or giving up for the price?
Here’s a table breaking down exactly what sports channels, leagues and networks you’re gaining/dropping with each plan:
|TV Service||Unique Sports Packages||Regional Sports Networks||Missing Sports Channels||DVR|
|AT&T TV Choice||None||Yes||MLB Network and NBA TV in Ultimate||20 hours/90 days (unlimited hours add $10/month)|
|AT&T TV Ultimate||None||Yes||No NFL Network/Red Zone with AT&T TV||20 hours/90 days (unlimited hours add $10/month)|
|DirecTV Choice||NFL Sunday Ticket (~$300/free first year)||Yes||Fox Sports 2, NHL Network, and others in Ultimate (+$20-$50/month)||1 HD DVR included ($7/month for each additional device)|
|Spectrum Select||$5/month Sports Pack||Yes||ESPN2 and pro sports networks in Silver||Add $4.99 (1) or $9.99 (2+) per month|
|Spectrum Silver||$5/month Sports Pack||Yes||Big Ten, NHL, Pac-12 Networks in Gold (+$15/month)||Add $4.99 (1) or $9.99 (2+) per month|
|Hulu + Live TV||Disney+/ESPN+ bundle (+$7/month)||Limited||MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network||50 hours and can't skip ads (200 hours for +$9.99/month)|
|YouTube TV||$10.99/month Sports Plus||Limited||NHL Network||Unlimited (nine months)|
|Sling TV Combined||$11/month Sports Extra||Limited||No local channels;no major omissions with the sports package||50 hours (200 hours for $5/month)|
|FuboTV||$10.99/month Sports Plus with NFL Red Zone and $6.99/month International Sports Plus||Limited||TBS and TNT||50 hours (200 hours for|
AT&T TV Contract vs Contract-Free Plans
One of the most confusing aspects of the AT&T TV product is that it is offered both with and without a contract… and the service details are a bit different depending on which you choose.
The main differences are:
- Streaming box: no-contract plans have to buy the streaming box and DVR up-front for a one-time $120 fee. It’s included free with two-year contract plans.
- Credit requirement: the two-year contract plan requires a soft credit check.
- DVR storage: there is a low limit of 20 hours storage on the DVR, unless you pay extra or upgrade to a two-year contract plan.
Here’s a quick comparison of pricing differences between two-year contract and month-to-month plans with AT&T TV. The primary difference is that contract plans include the streaming box for free (it’s $120 up-front).
|Plan||Monthly price (no contract)||Monthly Promo Price (with contract)||Monthly Standard Price (with contract)|
|Entertainment||69.99/month + $8.49||$59.99||$93|
|Choice||$84.99/month||$64.99 + $8.49 regional sports fee||$110 + $8.49 regional sports fee|
|Xtra||Not available without contract||$74.99 + $8.49 regional sports fee||$124 + $8.49 regional sports fee|
|Ultimate||$94.99/month||$79.99 + $8.49 regional sports fee||$135 + $8.49 regional sports fee|
|Premier||$139.99/month||$129.99 + $8.49 regional sports fee||$185 + $8.49 regional sports fee|
AT&T TV Bundles With Internet
There are no savings to bundling AT&T TV with internet services. In fact, the AT&T website markets bundles as a way to stay organized on your monthly bills, not a cost savings.
If you’d like to go with AT&T for internet, you’ll pay full price. Simply add $35/month for 300 Mbps ($45/month for 500 Mbps or $60/month for 1000 Mbps) to your plan, plus taxes.
There’s also a $10/month equipment fee and then the price goes up after 12 months ($35 to $55, $45 to 65, and $60 to $80 per month). There are no data caps.
Current AT&T internet pricing is as follows:
|Plan Name||Advertised speed||First Year Price||Final Price|
|Fiber Internet 1000||940 Mbps||$60/mo||$80|
|Fiber Internet 500||500 Mbps||$45/mo||$65|
|Fiber Internet 300||300 Mbps||$35/mo||$55|
|Internet 25||25 Mbps||$45/mo||$55|
AT&T TV vs DirecTV: what’s the difference?
AT&T owns both AT&T TV and DirecTV, but functionally the programming and pricing/sports are very different.
DirecTV is a subsidiary of AT&T and provides satellite TV, meaning you have to have a dish installed on your roof or in the yard to receive service. This is very different from the AT&T TV streaming service, which can be delivered anywhere with internet.
DirecTV is important to sports fans for two reasons: right now it’s the only way to get NFL Sunday Ticket, and it offers more sports channels than any other company on the market. The DirecTV Sports Pack for $13.99/month alone gives you more than 35 regional and specialty sports networks across the country; normally you only get the regional sports networks in your area.
As you might expect, DirecTV is expensive. Plus, a two-year contract is required. To get regional sports networks, you’re looking at the Choice plan, which comes with 185+ channels including ESPN channels, Fox Sports 1, MLB Network, NBA TV, NBC Sports Network, SEC Network, TBS, TNT. It’ll cost you $64.99/month for 12 months and then turn into the prevailing rate for the next 12 months, which is currently $102/month. You’ll also pay the regional sports fee of $9.99/month on top of those prices. It comes with one HD DVR; it’s $7/month for each additional device. Other fees and taxes apply.
Move up to the Ultimate package, which has 250+ channels including CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, Golf Channel, NHL Network, and Olympic Channel, and you’re looking at $84.99/month for 12 months and then the prevailing rate of $151/month for the rest of your contract. Add at least another $9.99/month for the regional sports fee, plus other fees and taxes. (The highest-priced plan is Premier, which offers 330+ channels for $134.99/month for 12 months and then the prevailing rate of $206/month.)
If you want the most channels and you’re willing to pay those prices, DirecTV is tough to beat — especially if you’re in a suburban or rural area without the 25 Mbps wired internet minimum required for AT&T TV.
Summary: good for regional sports, but poor DVR and confusing pricing
Overall, AT&T TV is primarily worth it if regional sports networks are important to you, and you want a full range of standard cable channels along with them.
It’s best-suited for small family households that can benefit from the channel variety and need to mix-and-match lots of streaming and live TV options, but don’t need quite the buffet-style 250+ channel array of a traditional cable bundle.
In my opinion, most single or couple households are better off with skinny bundles like Hulu, Netflix, and etc., without the need for a paid “umbrella” service like AT&T TV. That said, again — if you need regional sports, it’s the cheapest option.
AT&T TV is certainly pricey, but there aren’t any options that will keep you under $80/month or so without giving those regional and live channels up (in the vast majority of locations).
Avoid their two-year contract plans for straightforward pricing and the ability to cancel anytime. The Choice package at $84.99/month plus taxes is the least expensive long-term option at this time for getting regional sports networks and a basic cable lineup.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happened to AT&T U-verse legacy package?
U-verse is no longer available to new customers. AT&T’s streaming service, AT&T TV, is now the primary offering for watching content.
What happened to the U-verse sports package?
U-verse is no longer available to new customers. AT&T’s streaming service, AT&T TV, is now the primary offering for watching content. There’s no sports package with AT&T TV, but it offers a strong selection of sports channels, especially given its full range of regional sports networks.
What is the Fox Sports Channel on U-verse?
U-verse is no longer available to new customers. AT&T’s streaming service, AT&T TV, offers FOX Sports 1 (Entertainment and up) and Fox Sports 2 (Xtra/Ultimate and up), which televises a wide range of sports events.
How can I watch NFL on AT&T U-verse?
U-verse is no longer available to new customers. AT&T’s streaming service, AT&T TV, has local channels and ESPN to watch many games, but doesn’t have NFL Network and Red Zone. Take a look above at the best option for NFL fans.