Do DIRECTV’s regional sports fees seem a bit arbitrary to you? If so, you’re not alone. The Consumerist reports that the satcaster is charging some subscribers higher fees depending upon their zip codes.
The regional sports fees are supposed to be based on how many regional sports channels are available in your market; the more channels, the higher the fee. However, according to a DIRECTV web page that allows you to search for your fee by zip code, some subscribers in the same market are being charged different fees.
The Consumerist was alerted to this odd practice by a DIRECTV customer who provided a map to the web site that shows the different fees by zip code.
“As you can see from this map that she (the DIRECTV customer) put together, DIRECTV charges fees of $0, $2.47, $5.83, and $7.29 depending on ZIP, even though all of these customers get access to the same regional sports,” the Consumerist writes.
DIRECTV told The Consumerist that regional sports content can vary by zip code, but the site counters that it found that different fees are sometimes being charged in markets where all subscribers are getting the same regional sports channels.
Fierce Cable writes that DIRECTV has said its regional sports page is providing incorrect data and will be taken down temporarily until it’s fixed. However, as of this afternoon, it’s still up.
The fee mystery comes at a bad time for DIRECTV, and the pay TV industry as a whole. Congressional leaders have blasted rising pay TV bills, particularly add-on fees such as those for regional sports channels and the carriage of local channels, known as broadcast fees.
— Phillip Swann