DIRECTV this week has launched a program offering a $150 Visa Reward Card to Dish subscribers who drop their TV provider and sign up for the rival satellite TV service.
The satcaster’s campaign to target the Dish audience comes as Dish is under fire from subscribers for losing 64 Tegna-owned network affiliates in a carriage dispute nearly three weeks ago. There appears to be no end in sight to the Tegna blackout with Dish last week filing a complaint with the FCC that Tegna is acting in “bad faith’ during the negotiations.
In addition, Dish is negotiating with Sinclair Broadcasting to continue carrying the company’s 100 plus local stations, and the satcaster has several ongoing carriage disputes with regional sports networks.
Some Dish subscribers who are enrolled in two-year agreements with the satellite service may be reluctant to drop their service because the satcaster charges an early termination penalty of $20 a month for every month left in the contract. However, DIRECTV’s $150 Visa Reward Card offer could encourage some of those customers to reconsider whether to switch service.
DIRECTV’s campaign to poach Dish’s subscribers is somewhat unusual in the satellite industry, but not unprecedented. Dish, in fact, offered a $250 in savings to DIRECTV subscribers in 2015.
The DIRECTV time limited offer, which does not include a switch to DIRECTV Stream, requires the Dish customer to sign a two-year agreement for a DIRECTV package that’s priced at a minimum of $59.99 a month for the first 12 months. (Prices nearly double in year two.) That would include DIRECTV’s basic Entertainment plan, which starts at $64.99 a month for a lineup of 160 channels.
The Dish subscriber must then submit a Dish bill dated within the past six months that includes his or her name and/or address. The customer will be sent an e-mail or regular mail with redemption instructions for the $150 Visa Reward Card within six weeks from the time he or she activates the qualifying package. The card itself will be delivered within three to four weeks after redemption to customers who maintain and pay for qualifying service from activation date and through reward fulfillment.
The $150 Reward Card can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted in the United States. For more information on the offer, click here.
The TV Answer Man has asked both DIRECTV and Dish for a comment and will report back here if we receive one.
Update: Dish this afternoon released this statement to the TV Answer Man:
“Regarding this new campaign — When you compare overall packages and multi-year pricing, including special promotional offers, DISH provides the best value, service and technology in television to its customers. It’s why DISH has been recognized as #1 in Customer Satisfaction from J.D. Power for four straight years.”
DIRECTV has yet to issue a statement in response to our inquiry regarding the new campaign.
Update #2: DIRECTV issued this statemen
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann