AT&T offers a year of free HBO to new DirecTV Now subs

Free HBO? What's the catch? AT&T customers will have to pay $60 or $70 a month to get the $5 a month HBO-freebie

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AT&T launched a new promotion to entice consumers to sign up for its DirecTV Now service, which streams over the Internet, works with numerous devices including mobile phones, and doesn't eat up mobile data on AT&T networks.

David Katzmaier/CNET

AT&T hopes to win over fans of "Game of Thrones," "Veep," and other HBO shows with a promotion that offers access to HBO for free for a year on its new DirecTV Now streaming TV service.

But there's a catch: You'll have to dish out the big bucks for one of the company's most expensive streaming TV bundles to get it. The promotion, which was announced Monday and ends March 30, will deliver free access to HBO if you subscribe to either the 100-channel Go Big package for $60 a month or the 120-channel Gotta Have It $70 a month plan.

Considering it's only $5 extra a month to add HBO to any DirecTV Now bundle, the deal is only worth it if you want the other channels offered in either of the higher priced tiers. AT&T also offers 60 channels of DirecTV for $35 a month or 80 channels for $50 a month.

Earlier this month, AT&T offered a similar promotion to its existing DirecTV Now customers. AT&T is also offering a free Apple TV streaming device for anyone who prepays for three months of service. This offer also ends March 30.

DirecTV Now, which launched Nov. 30, is part of AT&T's push to transform itself into more than a phone company. The second largest wireless provider acquired satellite TV provider DirecTV last year and has announced plans to buy Time Warner, which owns HBO, to become a video content and distribution powerhouse.

DirecTV Now is the service that ties it all together. Despite a rocky launch in November when the service choked under demand from users, AT&T still managed to sign up 200,000 customers. But much of this was likely buoyed by the introductory promotional offer of 100 channels for $35 a month. Now with a higher price tag, AT&T is looking at new promotions to entice new customers to sign up.

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