DIRECTV Raising Subscriber Fees TVPredictions.com, December 29, 2009
Washington, D.C. -- DIRECTV is notifying subscribers by e-mail that it will raise programming rates by roughly four percent starting in February.
The satcaster blamed the rate hike on the rising costs of acquiring programming rights from broadcast and cable networks.
“DIRECTV will implement a modest price adjustment that on average will increase the customer’s monthly bill by a little over four percent beginning Feb. 9, 2010,” the company said in the e-mail. “The new pricing reflects the increasing cost of programming and the significant investments we've made to enhance our customers' viewing experience."
DIRECTV is currently embroiled in programming rate disputes with the Versus sports channel and several channels owned by Rainbow Media.
Here are some of the new package rates as outlined in the DIRECTV e-mail:
From the looks of things prices are going up anywhere from $3 to $5 for DirecTV programming packages plus DVR fees are increasing from $5.99 to $7. The biggest increase comes to the DirecTV Premiere package which climbs from $109.00 a month to $114.99.
Word of the increase comes after we leaked out the Dish Network price increase here in “The Satellite Dish” two weeks ago. We reported the rumors that Dish Network was not increasing the rates on their programming packages, however their equipment fees were going up.
This move to new pricing from DirecTV takes effect on February 9th which is unusual for DirecTV as they usually have their pricing changes in March.
The price increase will take place on the same day that DirecTV drops the XM Satellite Radio Channels from their lineup and replaces them with audio services from SonicTap (which is actually DMX.)
According to the website “On February 9, 2010, DIRECTV customers will have a new source for their favorite music channels. SonicTap will continue to deliver the same crystal-clear sound and programming variety that DIRECTV viewers have always enjoyed. And SonicTap features even more music channels with no interruptions.”
For some customers this will be welcome news for others though they will consider it a down grade. I am not sure how I take it, as I always thought it was silly for the satellite radio companies to give away their core music programming to satellite television customers for free. I know a lot of people who never signed up for satellite radio because of the fact they got the service for free with their satellite television subscriptions.
The question now begs to be asked will Dish Network also be dropping the Sirius Satellite Radio channels from it’s lineup as well? I asked Dish Network that question but have yet to receive a reply. I checked the Dish Network website and the mentions of the Sirius Music service are still on the site. If Dish is dropping it then I hope they update their site like DirecTV did so that their customers get some kind of notice.
We will be following this one and will update things as conditions warrant.
Now that multi-room video is in "national release testing"--the last phase before it goes to public availability (so, soon) hopefully the increased DVR fees (which are for an entire account by they way, not per box like TW) will include this feature, but I'm not holding my breath.