By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I have been a DIRECTV subscriber for almost 10 years, but this last price increase is the last one for me. I can’t believe they are raising prices for the second time in less than a year. I think we will switch to a streaming service in the next two weeks. Won’t other subscribers feel like this, too, and cancel soon? — John, Dallas.
John, DIRECTV last Thursday announced that prices are going up for the satellite service, DIRECTV Stream and U-verse from $2 a month to $10 a month. The new prices go into effect on November 5, 2023. The company blames the rising cost of programming acquisition for the price hikes, as it has for the last several years when it raised prices. Yes, DIRECTV has raised prices every year for the last several years. But this rate hike seems to have touched a nerve, perhaps because it will be the second one in less than a year. (DIRECTV also raised prices last January.) The TV Answer Man has received an unusual number of e-mails from readers complaining about the increase. There is also a large number of complaints on social media.
“How’s the Hulu Live TV? I’m abandoning DirecTV Stream as they’re once again jacking the price,” writes Juan Ramirez on X.
“Then don’t raise your prices 10%. Just got your email. I’m out too, you guys can’t help but mess everything up you touch,” says ‘Mike’ on X.
“I had @DIRECTV for 18 years and then they went back on an agreement and doubled my bill,” writes Harvey McCarthy on X.
“STILL don’t have access to #CBS & #FOX stations but @DIRECTV is raising prices AGAIN. Make it make sense…” writes ‘Ryan’ on X.
“@DIRECTV raising my already ridiculous prices, so time to give @YouTubeTV a shot….21 days to figure out if I can make the change! Been with DTV for 20+ years…any YouTube TV tips appreciated,” adds Chris Gonzalez on X.
Second rate hike this year from @DIRECTV stream, now up $19 since the beginning of the year. Just cancelled my subscription – can’t wait to switch back to youtubetv!
— Mr. Geens (@mrGeenz) October 6, 2023
DirecTV pricing model is a guaranteed way to lose customers.
Started out paying $35 in 2017 to now $120 in 2023. Peace out ✌🏽 pic.twitter.com/1M6TFw6qGp
— KJ (@KreoleKing) October 6, 2023
And there are plenty more. The Bloomberg article from last week that reports that AT&T, which owns 70 percent of DIRECTV, is contemplating selling the TV provider (among other possible options) triggered more comments on pricing. “I wish AT&T would sell DIRECTV because all they have done is raise prices and lower the quality!” Todd says in an e-mail to The TV Answer Man.
Since AT&T purchased DIRECTV in 2015, the satcaster has lost 13 million subscribers and it would appear the latest price increase will not help reverse that trend. The question is how many more DIRECTV subscribers will leave now.
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