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T-Mobile Taunts AT&T’s DirecTV Now With Hulu Free One-Year Offer

Variety logo Variety 1/25/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

T-Mobile is again targeting AT&T’s DirecTV Now, which has been plagued with technical snafus since launching two months ago, by offering T-Mobile customers who have already switched from DirecTV Now a free one-year subscription to Hulu’s baseline service.

In the new offer, T-Mobile said it will give one year free of Hulu’s limited-commercial service (regularly priced at $7.99 per month) to ex-DirecTV Now subscribers who opted to take T-Mobile’s offer launched last month that provides a $35-per-month credit for a year.

“T-Mobile Gives Free Year of Hulu to Cover the Stench of DirecTV NOW,” the carrier’s PR team wrote in the subject line of an email to media announcing the offer. While it’s free for a year, T-Mobile said users may be charged tax for the Hulu service.

Since AT&T launched DirecTV Now on Nov. 30, the service has experienced several outages, and users have reported multiple problems accessing the internet-streaming service. AT&T has refused to provide refunds to DirecTV Now subs.

The latest T-Mobile offer comes ahead of AT&T’s fourth-quarter 2016 earnings announcement Wednesday. AT&T last week said it added more than 200,000 video subs in the quarter, driven entirely by DirecTV Now signups.

“AT&T spent $67 billion on DirecTV and still couldn’t roll out a streaming service that worked!” T-Mobile president and CEO John Legere — who delights in trash-talking — said in a prepared statement. “So, every former AT&T customer who took us up on our offer is now on a faster, more advanced network with unlimited data, and they get a free year of Hulu on us.”

While T-Mobile touts unlimited data, including video streaming, the wireless carrier caps video from Hulu and other services at standard-definition quality (480p resolution). Customers on the current T-Mobile One plan who want to stream HD video must purchase an “HD add-on” option for $25 per month per line.

Another caveat: T-Mobile says that for all plans, during periods of network congestion the top 3% of heaviest data users (using more than 28 gigabytes per month) “may notice reduced speeds until next bill cycle due to data prioritization.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that T-Mobile is giving eligible customers one year free of Hulu’s ad-free service. In fact, the offer cover Hulu’s limited-commercials plans, regularly priced at $7.99 per month.

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