DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-Verse Review

Which are you a bigger fan of: sports coverage or shorter contracts?

Best for Sports
Directv
DIRECTV
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • pro
    Price: $49.99–$124.99/mo.
  • pro
    Channels: 330
Best for Pricing
  • pro
    Price: $39.99–$114.99/mo.
  • pro
    Channels: 550
Chantel Buchi
Staff Writer, TV & Streaming
Read More
January 14, 2022
5 min read

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While some may think the two companies are the same, DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse offer similar services. But the most important difference: the first-year monthly price.

DIRECTV is the best choice for sports fans, but only if you’re cool with price increases after the first year and a two-year contract.

AT&T U-verse also increases in price after the first year, though the contract is only for one year. Plus, U-verse has some of the highest channel counts out there.

The second most important difference is the fact that DIRECTV is satellite TV and U-verse is digital TV. This means it uses the internet to deliver TV channels to your set-top box.

But let's dive in to see which one is best for you and your family.

How do DIRECTV and U-verse compare?
FeaturesDIRECTVAT&T U-verse
Price$64.99–$134.99/mo.*$39.99–$114.99/mo.†
Channels160–330+180–550+
Max DVR hours200 hrs. HD165 hrs. HD
Contract2 yrs.1 yr.
Learn more
Data effective 3/25/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *For 12 months with a 2-yr contract, paperless bill, & autopay. Price increases for months 13–24. †For 12 months with a 1-yr agreement & Autopay
Find the best TV providers in your area.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse price comparison

For year one, AT&T U-verse and DIRECTV's pricing is exactly the same. But the your price hikes up during your second year with either service. You just have the luxury of choosing to stay with U-verse during the second year since you only have to sign a one-year contract. And you get more channels.

But for you sports fanatics, DIRECTV is a solid choice.

If you sign up for the DIRECTV CHOICE plan or higher, you’ll get one year of NFL SUNDAY TICKET included with your purchase (the price is usually just south of $300, so that’s a big bonus for football fans).

How much is DIRECTV?
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
ENTERTAINMENT All-Included$64.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos*165+
CHOICE All-Included$69.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos200+
ULTIMATE All-Included$89.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos270+
PREMIER All-Included$139.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos^340+
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $74.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.
Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $79.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.
Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $99.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.
^ Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $149.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.

We like that U-verse's plans give you a ton of channels, but just make sure the package you want includes the channels you want. We like the U300’s combination price and channels, which includes STARZ and SHOWTIME.

U-verse TV plans and prices
Plan
Monthly price*
TV channel count
Details

U-family

$39.99/mo.

180+

U-200

$59.99/mo.

370+

U-300

$64.99/mo.

485+

U-450

$114.99/mo.

550+

Date effective 3/25/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change. * for 12 mos. plus taxes.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse contracts

U-verse and DIRECTV both require a contract. But U-verse's is only a one-year contract while DIRECTV's is two.

The worst part: both providers raise your monthly cost by double in the second year. At least you can cancel U-verse's service before the price hikes up (*shoulder shrug*).

And keep in mind, you'll face early termination fees (ETF) if you want out of your contract early. But we can help you avoid them.

DIRECTV vs AT&T U-verse TV contracts and early termination fees
DIRECTV
AT&T U-verse

Contract

2 yrs.

1 yr.

Early termination fee (ETF)

Prorated ETF of up to $20/mo. left on your contract

Prorated ETF of $15/mo. left on your contract

Data effective 2/14/2020.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse hidden fees

We like to point out all the fees that are not quite obvious or at least not mentioned in the main advertised price (those sneaky little TV providers).

DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse are nearly identical. Both include installation and DVR fees, and both require a one-time activation fee.

Where DIRECTV charges a regional sports fee, U-verse charges a Broadcast TV fee. So once again, you’ll end up with about the same price with either provider.

DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse fee comparison
DIRECTVAT&T U-verse
Activation fee$19.95 $35.00
Installation feeIncluded$15.00 self-install kit or $89.99 professional installation
First DVR receiver feeIncludedIncluded
Additional receivers fee$7.00/mo.2nd included (limit to two per household)
HD technology feeIncludedIncluded
Broadcast TV feeIncludedUp to $9.99/mo
Regional sports feeUp to $9.99/mo.*N/A
Details
Data effective 2/14/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *For CHOICE package and above only.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse bundles

Unless you want NFL SUNDAY TICKET—which comes from DIRECTV only—the services are about the same.

You can bundle DIRECTV with AT&T Internet as well, but with more channels comes a higher bundle price when you compare DIRECTV plus AT&T Internet bundles with AT&T U-verse bundles. That said, paying more for DIRECTV's massive number of channels might be worth it.

How much are DIRECTV bundles?
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Internet download speed
Details
DIRECTV CHOICE All-Included Package + AT&T Internet$124.99/mo.°200+100 Mbps
DIRECTV PREMIER All-Included Package + AT&T Internet$194.99/mo.°340+100 Mbps
DIRECTV PREMIER All-Included Package + AT&T Internet + Phone Unlimited$219.98/mo.°340+100 Mbps
Data effective 01/18/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
° For 12 months plus taxes & fees; w/ 24-mo. TV agmt. TV offer ends 7/22/22. TV price higher in 2nd year. Limited availability. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. May not be available in your area.

AT&T U-verse bundle prices are much lower than DIRECTV bundle prices, but don't forget that DIRECTV CHOICE bundles and above also get you NFL SUNDAY TICKET. So make sure your TV selection is what you want, and all will be golden.

Check out DIRECTV’s channel lineup and compare it to AT&T U-verse’s channel lineup.

How much are AT&T U-Verse bundles?
Plan
Price with internet*
Channel count
Download speed
Learn more

U-Verse U-Family All-Included + Internet 100

$75.00/mo.

180+

100 Mbps

U-Verse U-200 All-Included + AT&T Internet

$95.00/mo.

360+

100 Mbps

U-Verse U-300 All-Included + AT&T Internet

$100.00/mo.

470+

100 Mbps

U-Verse U-450 All-Included + AT&T Internet

$150.00/mo.

550+

100 Mbps

Data effective 3/25/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *For 12 months with a 1-yr agreement, paperless billing, and Autopay

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse channels

With DIRECTV and U-verse, you're not gonna have a problem missing out on your favorite channels. These TV providers have a great channel variety of news, kids, lifestyle, and more.

But check out the channel lineups of both DIRECTV and U-verse to see which channels are available in your area.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse channels
Channel
DIRECTV
AT&T U-verse

Boomerang

ULTIMATE and PREMIER

All packages

CNN

All packages

U-200 and up

Disney Channel

All packages

All packages

Food Network

All packages

All packages

Fox News

All packages

U-200 and up

Hallmark Channel

All packages

All packages

HGTV

All packages

All packages

MSNBC

All packages

U-200 and up

National Geographic Channel

All packages

All packages

TNT

All packages

U-200 and up

DIRECTV vs. AT&T premium channels

Both DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse include premiums in different packages. For example, to get HBO from either provider, you either have to fork out some extra cash in the form of an add-on or in the form of the top-tier plan (DIRECTV PREMIER and AT&T U-verse U450).

AT&T includes SHOWTIME, ENCORE, and STARZ in its U300, which is a good deal. But it doesn’t include HBO until you get the U450 package, which nearly doubles your monthly price for about 65 extra channels.

But if you choose to go with a more inexpensive package and just want one add-on, you'll have to pay the same monthly cost with both providers.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse premium channel prices
Channel
Price

EPIX

$5.99/mo.

CINEMAX

$13.99/mo.

HBO

$17.99/mo.

SHOWTIME

$13.99/mo.

STARZ

$13.99/mo.

Premium promotions
Light Bulb

DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse both include HBO and CINEMAX for three months before going back to regular price (which is a bit higher with DIRECTV than other providers, but only by a few bucks).

DIRECTV also includes SHOWTIME and STARZ in this promotion, so they get some bonus points here because we love Shameless and Homeland.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T sports channels

Perhaps the biggest advantage for DIRECTV comes into play here: NFL SUNDAY TICKET. If you want to see every out-of-market game Sunday NFL game, DIRECTV is the only way to get it.

If you go with the CHOICE package or above, you get NFL SUNDAY TICKET for free for the first season. Just make sure to cancel your subscription for the following season or you'll be charged $300. Or don't. Because you love football.

But if you're interested in the sports channels each providers carries, look no further.

DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse sports channels
Channel
DIRECTV
AT&T U-verse

Big Ten Network

CHOICE and up

Not available

CBS Sports Network

XTRA and up

U-200 and up

ESPN

ENTERTAINMENT and up

U-200 and up

ESPNEWS

CHOICE and up

U-200 and up

ESPN U

CHOICE and up

U-200 and up

FOX Sports (FS1)

Not available

U-200 and up

Golf Channel

XTRA and up

U-200 and up

MLB Network

XTRA and up

U-300 and up

NBA TV

XTRA and up

U-300 and up

NBC Sports

XTRA and up

U-200 and up

NFL Network

CHOICE and up

U-200 and up

NHL Network

ULTIMATE and PREMIER

U-200 and up

Pac-12 Network

Not available

U-450 only

SEC Network

Not available

U-300 and up

Tennis Channel

ULTIMATE and PREMIER

U-300 and up

Recap—DIRECTV vs. AT&T U-verse

These TV giants have a few similarities, but their differences will help you decide between the two.

DIRECTV is available to just about everyone, and AT&T U-verse is spread mostly across major metropolitan areas. However, the biggest deciding factors we see are contract length and the ability to get NFL SUNDAY TICKET (you can get it from DIRECTV, but not from U-verse).

  • Pricing: The price for both companies increases after the second year, in some cases double what you were paying originally. So, be mindful.
  • Contracts: If you don’t like long contracts, U-verse's one-year agreement is an easier pill to swallow than DIRECTV’s two-year agreement.
  • Channels: U-verse wins for high channel counts, but DIRECTV has most of the channels you want even in lower-tier packages—plus, you can’t get NFL SUNDAY TICKET with AT&T U-verse, which may help football fans decide.

If you’re still not sure which provider you want, check out the other options we’ve reviewed:

Chantel Buchi
Written by
Chantel Buchi
Chantel is all about finding the best tv or streaming service to watch as many football games as possible to keep her Fantasy Football team in check. Prior to being a TV and Streaming Tech Reporter for Reviews.org, she worked for NFL Network and The Alliance of American Football. Before that, she received a B.A. of Communication at the University of Utah and an M.S. in Sports Journalism at USC. Go Utes and Fight On. Contact her at chantel@reviews.org

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