AT&T announced this morning it’s adding free HBO to all customers on its unlimited wireless plans, including both Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Choice. The carrier in April had offered free HBO only to those on Unlimited Plus – its premium tier – but today’s move brings the network to the Unlimited Choice plan as well.
Currently, AT&T’s Unlimited Choice plan offers unlimited data, talk and text for $60 per month, or 4 lines for under $40 per line.
The option will become available to both new and existing AT&T Unlimited Choice customers starting on Friday, September 15th, says AT&T.
The addition of HBO doesn’t change the pricing for either plan, however – instead, it’s being used as a lure to entice more customers to switch to AT&T and retain existing ones, while leveraging the company’s soon-to-close acquisition of Time Warner, the parent company for HBO. The deal is expected to go through, so AT&T isn’t wasting much time putting its various assets to use.
As before when it rolled out free HBO to Unlimited Plus customers, AT&T is also sweetening this new deal by offering a $25 monthly video credit for Unlimited Choice customers that can be used towards AT&T’s streaming service for cord cutters, DirecTV Now. (Unlimited Plus customers can choose to use the credit for DirecTV or U-Verse TV as well).
With the $25 credit, that means AT&T customers can basically add on over-the-top streaming TV for $10 per month, as DirecTV Now’s plans begin at $35 per month. The fine print, however, notes that the credit starts within three billing cycles, so don’t expect it right away.
Customers with an existing AT&T video service will have HBO added for no extra charge to their existing plan, while current HBO subscribers will just no longer have to pay, the announcement explains. For those who don’t subscribe to HBO through an AT&T video service, they’ll be able to access HBO through the DirecTV Now and HBO GO applications.
The new offer comes shortly after rival T-Mobile said it would begin giving away free Netflix to its unlimited data family plans, as both carriers try to find an angle to promote their unlimited plans in the wake of Verizon’s [disclosure: TechCrunch parent, by way of AOL] decision to throttle video in its own unlimited plan.