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AT&T is launching a new TV service and a series of offers it hopes will allow it to sell TV service even when people don't want to give up their current broadband provider.

Why it matters: The streaming field is crowded, but some of the most lucrative customers are those willing to pay for live TV. This is AT&T's latest effort to go at that market.

How it works: AT&T TV, which launches nationally today, provides a cable-style bundle of channels with regional sports and more arcane offerings, on-demand options and a cloud-based DVR. It is an over-the-top service, so it works regardless of who provides broadband service, though AT&T is reserving some of its best deals for those who bundle AT&T TV with broadband service from the company as well.

  • AT&T is launching with promotional prices ranging from $49.99 to $69.99 per month for the first 12 months.
  • Customers who bundle with AT&T home internet or wireless will save $10 per month.
  • In month 13, though, prices rise substantially, to $93 to $135 per month.
  • It features a small set-top box and a voice remote and is also accessible via apps for Apple TV, smartphones and some Samsung smart TVs.

The big picture: AT&T TV joins DirecTV, DirecTV Now, U-verse TV, HBO Now, HBO Go and HBO Max in the company's stable of linear and over-the-top TV services.

Our thought bubble: I had a chance to try out the service and can confirm that setup is indeed easy and doesn't require a professional. Downloading software updates took a couple minutes, but the interactive trivia questions provided while that took place were a nice touch — and I got eight out of eight right.

  • The integration with the Google Assistant and Android apps is nice, as is the universal search, though for now that integration is limited to a handful of services, including Netflix.
  • The biggest issue I see — beyond AT&T's not currently offering the Pac-12 Network — is that the pricing is a lot like the traditional TV it hopes to replace, including two-year contracts and low teaser prices that rise substantially in the second year.

The bottom line: Perhaps the best thing AT&T TV brings is more competition into a part of the TV market known for high prices.

Go deeper: AT&T's Xandr readying 2020 WarnerMedia integration

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program where he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.