By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I read your article about Dish raising prices. I supposed that means that DIRECTV will raise prices on us next, right? The nerve of these companies raising prices when they don’t provide us the channels we signed up for!! — Terry, Providence, Rhode Island.
Terry, Dish announced on Friday (September 22) that it’s raising the monthly price of its programming packages by $5 on October 12. This is a tough time for a price increase with Dish missing 77 local stations due to four different fee fights with their owners. And speaking of missing local channels, DIRECTV is still without 30 network affiliates (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and The CW) due to fights with White Knight and Mission Broadcasting. The satcaster did just settle a dispute with Nexstar, which manages those 30 stations (as well as own 176 local channels) but the Nexstar agreement did not cover White Knight and Mission. So will DIRECTV now increase prices with the two carriage blackouts still in place, just as its satellite rival, Dish, just did.
The odds are good, very good. But it likely won’t happen for a few months. DIRECTV has raised monthly package prices every January for the last several years. The announcement that prices will rise in January usually comes in November or December.
Like Dish, DIRECTV every year blames the rising cost of programming acquisition — the networks keep asking for more money to carry their signals. And like Dish, DIRECTV is not wrong here. Programming costs is the biggest reason why TV providers have had to raise prices over the last several years, leading to cord-cutting and the mass exodus of pay TV subscribers. There’s no expectation that will change anytime soon. So, yes, get prepared for another DIRECTV price hike. Sooner than later.
Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann