DIRECTV today raised prices for both new and existing customers. But the satcaster also implemented a price guarantee for new customers that would slice up to $720 off their bills over two years.

The company last month announced a price increase would go into effect today for existing subscribers of DIRECTV’s satellite service and U-verse. The rate increase was also slated for DIRECTV Stream’s new and existing customers.

But DIRECTV today also increased the monthly rate for the satellite service’s new customers. The Choice plan is now $84.99 per month for new customers, a $5 increase over the previous rate. The Ultimate plan is $109.99, a $10 a month hike for new subscribers. And the Premier package is now $154.99 a month, a $5 month increase over the previous fee for new customers. The base Entertainment plan actually has decreased for new subscribers, from $74.99 a month to $64.99 a month.

But perhaps even more significant is that DIRECTV has implemented a two-year price guarantee for new satellite customers. (DIRECTV requires new customers to enter into a two-year contract in return for incentives such as free premium channels, and in previous years, free NFL Sunday Ticket. The satcaster has lost the exclusive rights to the football package to YouTube starting with the 2023 season.)

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In the past, the second-year price for DIRECTV’s satellite package was nearly twice the first-year promo price for new customers. With the two-year price guarantee, a Premier package sub would save $60 a month ($720 a year) in year two. (The second-year Premier price for new customers was previously $214.) An Ultimate subscriber would save $50 a month in year two. (The second-year Ultimate price was $159). The Choice sub would save $45 a month in year two (The second-year Choice price was $129.) And the Entertainment sub would save $42 a month in year two. (The second-year Entertainment rate was $107 a month.)

DIRECTV has lost more than 12 million subscribers since AT&T purchased it in 20015. (The telco sold a 30 percent stake in DIRECTV, U-verse and DIRECTV Stream to private equity firm, TPG, a year ago.) This latest round of price increases, and the loss of the Sunday Ticket, will likely trigger more defections. DIRECTV may be hoping that the two-year price guarantee will keep those departures at a minimum.

Dish started a three-year price guarantee for new customers in November on the same day it raised prices. The DIRECTV rival has also experienced significant subscriber losses.

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— Phillip Swann