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Published on March 16th, 2019 | by Kirk Hiner

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[Opinion] Are the new DirecTV Now packages/prices worth it?

Earlier this week we reported that DirecTV has announced a price increase accompanied by new package offerings for their DirecTV Now streaming service. New customers will no longer be offered the $40 “Live a Little” package, $55 “Just Right” package, $65 “Go Big” package or $75 “Gotta Have It” package, and that’s fine. Honestly, losing those package names is justification enough.

The replacement lineups, however, cut a lot of the programming and jack up the prices, so it’s not at all a good deal.

I should point out that those of us who already subscribe to DirecTV Now are grandfathered into our current package, albeit with a price hike. I’m paying $40/month for the “Little a Little” package, and that will bump up to $50/month with my May payment. That’s not a huge price increase, but it’s enough for me to consider other options, especially taking into a count that DirecTV Now was already one of the more expensive options out there (but hey, they were offering a free Apple TV 4K at the time).

So, what would I gain and lose if I were to move to the new, similarly priced (and better-named) DirecTV Now Plus package:

Gain:

  • HBO
  • HBO Family
  • HBO Latino
  • Boomerang
  • CNBC World
  • FX Movie Channel
  • My Network TV*
  • Oxygen
  • Pop
  • Revolt
  • Universal Kids

If HBO’s of interest, that’s not a bad haul, especially at $50/month (for now, anyway). I subscribe to Boomerang separately, so I see that as a welcome addition, too. Unfortunately, here’s the list of what I’d be losing:

  • A&E
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet
  • AXS TV
  • Baby First
  • BBC America
  • BET
  • Bloomberg TV
  • C-SPAN
  • C-SPAN2
  • CMT
  • Comedy Central
  • Discovery
  • Food Network
  • Galavision
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HGTV
  • History
  • Investigation Discovery
  • Lifetime
  • Motor Trend
  • MTV
  • MTV2
  • Nick Jr.
  • Nickelodeon/Nick at Night
  • One American News
  • Paramount Network
  • REELZ
  • RFD-TV
  • Teen Nick
  • Telemundo*
  • TLC
  • TV Land
  • Univision
  • VH1
  • Viceland
  • WE tv

(* Your billing address must match a local market, and your device must be in that location to receive these channels.)

Even though I never see 3/4 of those channels because I’ve hidden them behind my favorites (who still watches MTV?), that’s a pretty big list. No Comedy Central? No Discovery? And I may have only watched AXS TV for one show, but that one show was New Japan Pro Wrestling, and it’s worth it. My personal interests aside, DirecTV Now is cutting many key channels and not replacing them with nearly enough to justify a price hike unless you were already adding HBO individually.

I could stay with my current package and just pay an extra $10/month, sure, but the whole point of cord cutting is to save money. I certainly have no interest moving up the $70/month DirecTV Now Max package to get some additional channels, and it won’t be hard to justify bumping over to a significantly cheaper competitor that still gives me most of what I what for considerably less. That Sling Blue package is looking better every day at half the price, especially considering their current Tax Season Offer.Or, maybe it’s time to consider Hulu + Live TV since we’re already paying for Hulu.

Again, which streaming service you go with should always come down to the proper balance of price, channels of interest, and reliability of service. If DirecTV Now’s changes have upset that balance with you as they have with me, it’s time exercise that newfound cord-cutting freedom and just move on.

I will miss Apple TV app integration, however.

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About the Author

has been writing for the Apple web since 1997, having served as editor of Applelinks and the Technology Tell Apple Channel. In addition to his work with BEST Apple TV, Kirk currently contributes to Mac Gamer HQ and Pure Nintendo. He lives with his wife and three children in small-town Ohio where the land is cheap and the air is (relatively) clean.



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