Dish has notified existing subscribers that prices on their programming packages will rise by $5 a month on January 14, 2021, the fourth major pay TV operator to announce that it’s hiking monthly video fees in January.
DIRECTV, U-verse, Comcast, and now Dish are among the pay TV providers that have announced that prices will go up in 2021, although the pay TV industry has been losing customers during the last few years largely because of rising prices.
Dish’s increase may be particularly ill-timed now with the satcaster involved in nine separate carriage disputes, leading to a blackout of 237 different channels. The fee fights include one this month with Nexstar’s 164 local channels and WGN America.
Dish, the nation’s second largest satellite TV service, is blaming the 2021 price increase on the rising cost of acquiring programming.
“At DISH, we continue to invest in your service and technology to make improvements and provide you with the best TV viewing experience at the best value,” the satcaster says at its web site. “However, the price that we pay for programming continues to rise. In fact, the fastest growing cost we and all other TV providers have is driven by the cost we pay the programmers. We will continue to work hard for fair deals with these programmers to keep channel costs and the price you pay as low as possible.”
Dish adds: “Due to these rising costs of programming, we will be increasing the cost of our package offerings beginning 1/14/21. We also will be removing receiver fees on equipment you’ve purchased and own, if any. If you own your equipment, you will see a new lower service fee for access on those TVs.”
In the notice, the satcaster says the following plans will see price increases starting January 14, 2021.
Welcome Pack — $34.99 a month to $39.99 a month
Flex Pack — $42.99 a month to $47.99 a month
Smart Pack — $40.99 a month to $45.99 a month.
Dish America — $57.99 a month to $62.99 a month
America’s Top 120 — $72.99 a month to $77.99 a month.
America’s Top 120 Plus — $77.99 a month to $82.99 a month
America’s Top 200 — $87.99 a month to $92.99 a month
America’s Top 250 — $97.99 a month to $102.99 a month
America’s Everything Pack — $122.99 a month to $127.99 a month
DishLatino Basic — $41.99 a month to $46.99 a month
DishLatino Classic — $44.99 a month to $49.99 a month.
DishLatino Plus — $51.99 a month to $56.99 a month.
DishLatino Dos — $70.99 a month to $75.99 a month.
Dish Latino Max — $82.99 a month to $87.99 a month.
Dish says promotional prices will stay the same until the promotional period ends so customers who are enrolled in two-year price guarantee plans will not see an increase in January. Also, effective January 14, 2021, the price of the Welcome Pack for customers who subscribed to it prior to January 15, 2019 will be $35.99 a month.
In addition, package prices do not include a local channel fee of $12 a month.
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— Phillip Swann