It’s been quite a turbulent year for DirecTV. The satellite TV service, now owned by AT&T, has been bleeding subscribers, amid numerous talk that AT&T is looking to sell off some or all of DirecTV, likely at a significant loss from what it paid for the company just four years ago.
DirecTV’s pay TV arm lost 590,000 customers in the third quarter, after losing over 800,000 each in the first two quarters of the year. As for the sale, AT&T is said to be looking to sell a significant stake in DirecTV, most likely to a private equity firm.
Now, DirecTV has announced that it will be raising prices in the new year.
“We’re making several adjustments to pricing for DIRECTV and U-verse TV packages starting January 17, 2021,” the page said. “You’ll see the new pricing on your bill.” The company added that “due to increased programming costs, we’re adjusting the price of our video packages.”
The price hike will depend on which package the customer has. According to the page, those with minimum service, family or ChineseDirect Plus will not see an increase. Those with Basic or Basic Choice will see a $1 increase, while those with Preferred Choice will have their bills rise by $3.
Those with several other packages, including Select, Entertainment, Select Classic, Select Choice, Entertainment Classic, Mas Latino, Optimo Mas, Mas Mexico, Basico, Familiar, Option Especial and Option Extra Special will have their bills rise by $5.
Those with Mas Ultra, Mas Ultra Original, Familiar Ultra and Option Ultra Especial will have $6 increases, while customers with Choice, Total Choice, Total Choice Limited and Total Choice Mobile will be increased by $7. Customers with Xtra, Preferred Xtra and Choice Extra Classic will see $8 increases, while Ultimate, Premier, Lo Maximo and Option Premier will see their bills rise by $9.
In addition, all customers will see the addition of a nineteen-cents-a-month for a “Federal Cost Recovery Fee.”
At the same time, DirecTV will reduce the prices of some premium channels. Starz, Cinemax and Showtime will each become $3 cheaper per month, while HBO Max and the sports package will not change. DirecTV will also be reducing the prices for certain premium channel bundles for those with and without the Sports Pack.
AT&T is also raising prices for each of its U-Verse TV packages. While the U-Basic package will remain the same price, other packages will rise by $5, $8 and $9 a month.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.