TV Answer Man, I read your story about the ways that DIRECTV could keep the Sunday Ticket subscribers from cancelling after they lose it. But you didn’t mention cutting the damn price. DIRECTV’s prices are too high and I speak as someone who has had DIRECTV for more than a decade. And they are going to raise prices again this month. Do you think that they could not raise prices now after losing the Sunday Ticket? Wouldn’t that keep people subscribing? — Marnie, Corsicana, Texas. 

Marnie, Google’s YouTube and YouTube TV last month secured the contract for the Sunday Ticket starting with the 2023 season. That means that DIRECTV will not have the exclusive rights to the package of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games for the first time in 28 years.

That certainly creates a challenge for DIRECTV to keep its current Sunday Ticket subscribers from defecting after the 2022 NFL regular season ends this Sunday. In yesterday’s article, I offered several ways that the satcaster could prevent them from leaving, including adding the NFL RedZone Channel.

It’s also true that DIRECTV is scheduled to raise programming prices again this month. But I did not include rescinding that price hike in my list of possible ways to keep the Ticket customers happy.


Because it’s not possible.

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DIRECTV announced the upcoming price increase last month, and although the Sunday Ticket announcement had not been made yet, the satcaster knew then it would not retain the Ticket’s rights. The company had decided long ago not to bid on the next Ticket contract for a variety of reasons, including cost (Google is paying more than $2 billion a year.) and DIRECTV’s declining sub totals. (It has lost 12 million subscribers since 2015.) It just doesn’t make sense for DIRECTV to spend that much money when its business has an expiration date stamped on it.

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So DIRECTV’s decision to raise prices again was made when it already knew the outcome of the Ticket sweepstakes. The fact that an actual winner was announced doesn’t change its thinking.

Marnie, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann