Q. I can not believe that Dish is raising prices after they lost all those channels in blackouts. How can they justify doing that? They should be lowering our prices. Right?! Can you explain this other than simple GREED on their part?!! — Jenny, Nashville.
Jenny, Dish revealed over the weekend that it will increase the cost of its programming packages by $5 a month in January, The price hike is ill-timed with the satcaster now missing 223 channels in eight different carriage disputes, including one this month in which Dish lost 164 Nexstar-owned local network affiliates. (Dish did settle yesterday with Cox Media and Apollo Global, bringing back 14 local stations.)
Update: Dish & Nexstar sign deal; end blackout.
With so many channels blacked out, it’s reasonable to ask how Dish can justify raising customer prices. The logical assumption would be that Dish should lower prices now because it doesn’t have to pay to carry those missing 223 channels. (Pay TV providers pay the programmers to carry their signals, not the other way around.) Plus, customers are angry now that they have to pay the same prices for fewer channels, and the idea of paying even more in January is insult to injury.
However, there’s a reason why Dish is raising prices in the face of all those logical assumptions, the same reason why DIRECTV will raise prices next month as well although it’s now missing 60 Tegna-owned local channels.
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Despite the blackouts, Dish is still paying more in program acquisition costs than it did a year ago. Programmers are dramatically increasing carriage rates for their channels, forcing pay TV providers to increase subscriber fees to offset the cost of carrying them.
You could argue that Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen is a billionaire and should be able to handle the added expense without passing it down to his customers. But businesses don’t operate that way. Ergen must run Dish as if he was broke or otherwise the time will soon come when it will begin losing considerable money. And when that happens, businesses close.
Dish also must factor in that program acquisition costs may rise again if it settles one of those eight carriage disputes. For example, if Dish signs a deal with Nexstar in January, it will significantly increase its programming expense. But it’s unlikely that Dish would raise prices again after one increase in January so the planned increase next month will cover current actual expenses and possible future ones. (Dish, like DIRECTV, has raised existing customer prices in January every year for the last several years. It’s not likely to raise them twice, or more, to cover new carriage deals.)
While you may think Dish should lower prices, it should be noted that it does offer lower prices than its rivals, including DIRECTV. Dish also offers a two-year price guarantee which is quite rare in the pay TV industry.
Jenny, hope that makes sense. I know how you and other satellite subscribers feel now, and it’s not easy to take a price hike while missing your favorite channels.
The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor this situation, and report back here if anything changes. Until then, happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann
Dish is using the rate hikes to pay for their build out of their 5G network. They know that satellite TV is a dying business model and are trying to squeeze every cent they can out of it before it collapses.
Not to mention how agressive the technician will have to upsell you on Google nest products when you call them out for a trouble call. This company literally depends on how well a tech can get you to spend upwards of $100s dollars the day of your service install.
Maybe if I didn’t have to pay for 55 infomercial channels to get 15 entertainment channels, the 5 channels I lost wouldn’t piss me off so bad. They should replace the channels they lost. It’s not our fault, its theirs. My new long range antenna and signal booster will be here Friday. No wonder they are going bankrupt.
If they don’t get General Hospital back I’m going to to another carrier that does.I have been watching it since I was young I am 65 year’s old I don’t care.
I have tried talking to reps twice to understand Flex package and have only come away frustrated. I was sent a link to a package that is no longer for sale.
If they raise prices, I cancel. Very simple
That’s why I ditched Dish and got a Fire Stick. My internet went up but still saving more than $40 a month.
Ok if dish and directv keep on raising the price their are going to lose more customers and that includes myself because the people can’t afford those prices especially on a fix burget
Yeah Phillip, I feel so sorry for the billionaire. I pay $140 a month and you think they aren’t making a killing. I am a businessman and a successful one at that. Your comments that that is now how businesses operate is totally wrong. Businesses adapt to changes but are also aware of what customers want and what the market will bear. I have reduced cost many times depending on various situations. And guess what? I made out just fine. I am also dropping Dish. To take away major channels, offering no refund for those lost channels and then to have the nerve to charge extra in January, we will see how well his business model does. Even if one was to reduce their package, Dish treats that as a new contract and says your on the hook for two more years. I am sure many customers are aware of that and won’t be reducing their programming packages. Never bet on the average consumer. Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen and Dish Network will lose big time, mark my words. And guess what, no one is going to beg to come back.
Every show we watch on Dish comes with 20 minutes of ads per hour. Why does Dish have to pay anything for content?
For one thing dish has a lot of the same channels that are not needed and most them are dumb channels so I think I’m going to switch because if we are going to pay we should get better channels
Dumb channels. That’s part of the business model. Bundle a pile of junk with a few shows you might want to watch. Forces us to go with Dish’s 200+ package even though we might only watch 20. That’s not Dish’s fault, it’s a strongarm tactic employed by the content providers.
Going to drop dish if they don’t get local channels back on. I am paying for local channels while the are off and so many others are to. But not lower are payments. So they are making money on use.
Something else bothers me more. I read a column about CBS all access but it doesn’t work for everyone. I am one of those. We live in a very rural area. CBS all access is 5.99 a month. Why would I want to pay 5.99 more in addition to my monthly Dish which I am paying the same minus CBS and next month an additional 5 dollars?
Hulu has recently dropped channels as well and are raising prices. They continue to justify it with the vast on demand library…which is still $5.99 a month.
Nope. The whole billionaire thing SHOULD mean that a price hike should “maybe” happen every 5 years. And not during a pandemic, with fewer channels, and STILL no HBO!!!! I’ve been a longtime customer with dish and I’m saying GOOD-BYE. I’M DONE. It’s all GREED.
Directv is cheaper than dish. I know that for a fact. My mother has Directv and I have dish. She pays less. So dish thinks $5.00 is cheap it’s not. I haven’t had abc or WGN and I’m one unhappy customer. My boyfriend and I are discussing other TV options for the new year. He has been a dish customer for 15years and he’s finally fed up with dish.
I’m confused. Don’t tv stations make more advertising dollars when they have more people watching? Why don’t the stations want to be on all the cables and satellites so they can tell the advertiser’s they have thousands viewers.
Big Spring Tx.
The fact that dish has continued to increase rates for less programming is typical.. they have a calorie audience in the rural areas that can not get cable or other forms of programming
Gouging people will catch up with them…
And the fact that dish will give promotional prices to me customers but no incentives are available for customers that v they have gouged for 15 plus years..
I detest greedy people
Well I bit the bullet, called Dish, and cancelled effective this coming Saturday. I am paying $220 to get out of my contract and am going back to DirecTV as of Friday. Heaven help me but without good streaming, antenna, or cable options, my choices are limited. I’ll end up paying more for DirecTV after one year but hopefully I won’t deal with as many carriage disputes and at least I have my RSN’s (and CBS).
Now for the kicker…the Dish Loyalty Departmen rep mistakenly put the cancellation date in as of today so, when I got off the phone, I discovered my satellite service was already gone. Called back to Dish, waited another eight minutes on hold, only to be told I would have to pay a reconnection fee of $15.01 to restore service until Saturday and the fee was not waiverable. No…but hell no! Their mistake but I have to pay??
I am convinced until there are class action lawsuits, government intervention, or there is another entity that can compete with Dish and DirecTV, customers will be held hostage and pay the price for the programmers and satellite companies’ greed!
I THINK WE WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITH A TV ANTENNA, AND TUBI FOR NOTHING A MONTH, WHY PAY FOR A BUNCH OF RERUNS, WHEN YOU CAN GET THEM FOR FREE.