AT&T offers free HBO perk, monthly discount to existing DirecTV Now customers

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AT&T on Tuesday announced new loyalty rewards for existing DirecTV customers, offering 12 free months of HBO service to "Go Big" and "Gotta Have It" subscribers, or $5 off the bill of lower tier plans.

Announced through AT&T's DirecTV Now forum, the discounts are automatically applied to customer accounts that were active on Mar. 6. Subscribers who recently cancelled DirecTV Now, or whose accounts were pending cancellation as of Mar. 6, are not eligible for the promotion.

While the reward is accessible to all current customers, only "Go Big" and "Gotta Have It" tiers are eligible for 12 months of completely free HBO streaming. If they opt in, those with lower tier plans "Live a Little" and "Just Right" will see a $5 credit applied to their bills for 6 months. Considering HBO is a $5 per month add-on, lower tier subscribers can apply their credit to try out the premium service for free for half a year.

Finally, customers who prepaid for HBO as part of another offer will see the monthly discount added to their account when the prepayment period expires.

It should be noted that the usual $5 per month HBO charge will automatically resume once the promotional period ends.

With the promotion, AT&T is looking to retain subscribers in the face of stiff competition within the streaming industry, the most recent threat being Google's forthcoming YouTube TV. AT&T rolled out similar incentives to attract new customers last year, including discounted streaming packages and an offer that netted users a free 32GB Apple TV with three months of prepaid service.

Earlier this year, AT&T announced DirecTV Now broke the 200,000 subscriber mark just one month after going live. As AppleInsider noted in our streaming service roundup, however, DirecTV Now has been plagued with quality issues since its launch in November.