Dish to Raise Rates in 2014, Keeps Blaming Programmers for Hikes

Dish Raise Rates 2014, Keeps Blaming

Satcaster will increase price of core programming packages $3-$5 per month starting Feb. 1

Dish Network in February will increase prices on core programming packages for most customers by $5 per month — among other fee hikes — and as usual, the satcaster is putting the blame for the bigger bills on broadcast and cable TV nets.

Dish said the “moderate price adjustments” will be effective Feb. 1, 2014. Customers will begin receiving bills in mid-January for February service, and Dish said it’s proactively communicating with subs about the increases.

Rival satcaster DirecTV also intends to raise rates in 2014, CEO Mike White said at an industry conference in September. DirecTV has not announced details of the new rates.

SEE ALSO: Pay-TV Prices Are at the Breaking Point — And They’re Only Going to Get Worse

“Dish is bearing the burden of these programmer rate increases with our customers, holding price increases below those of our primary competitors over the past two years,” the company said in a statement, adding, “The average percentage change that Dish customers will see with this increase is lower than the rate at which Dish’s programming costs will grow in 2014.”

Dish is currently in midst of negotiating a new deal with Disney for carriage of eight ABC stations, ESPN, Disney Channel and other cablers. Their previous pact, reached in 2005, expired Sept. 30. Besides higher programming rates, the automatic ad-skipping capabilities of Dish’s Hopper DVR is one of the contentious issues; ABC is among broadcasters suing Dish over the feature.

Dish said customers currently receiving promotional rates will continue to pay the same rates through the end of the promo period, which typically lasts 12 months.

The satcaster also will raise rates on the Hopper DVR — from $10 to $12 per month — and additional Hopper receivers will increase from $7 to $12 monthly (although existing customers with a second Hopper will receive credits for 18 months to offset the fee increase). In addition, customers with standard Spanish-language packages will see an increase of $3-$6 per month.

“We will continue to work on behalf of our customers by negotiating hard and seeking congressional help to modify outdated laws,” Dish said in a statement. Pay TV operators argue that the FCC’s current retransmission-consent regime gives broadcasters undue leverage in negotiations. Last week, two congressional bills proposing to revamp those rules were introduced.

News of Dish’s 2014 price increases was posted this week in a discussion forum on SatelliteGuys.

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  1. Ron Bevins says:

    Time to dust off your old roof-top antenna. People do not realize that there are 25-75 free digital tv channels available in most areas. Supplement that with Hulu or Netflix + Roku or Chromecast and you have more TV than most people could ever want.

  2. FrankM says:

    Was somebody holding a gun to Dish’s head making them sign new deals with increased fees and requiring those fees to be passed on to customers? Probably not.

    Dish could always negotiate better deals by setting a highwater mark for programming costs during negotiations. “if you want to be in AT120, your channel must be priced below $.60 per subscriber; if you want to be in AT200, the rate has to be below $1.20, etc.” Making this tactic public would allow them to win in the court of public opinion.

    Dish could also revert to the package structure of the 1990’s when local channels were and optional package. There’s no reason why customers should be forced to buy channels that they can get for free (depending on location).

  3. So doing the math, my bill is possibly going to go up close to $20 bucks a months or pretty close to it. I’m already paying $121 a month, with one Hopper and two receivers. And I was saving money over the local cable company, Brighthouse. Now, I won’t be.

    Two years ago I was looking for someone to install a good antenna system on my house. Couldn’t find one so went with Dish. My contract is up in April and we’ll give it another go. Once there was a time I could do it myself but am physically unable. I live out in the sticks and an indoor antenna doesn’t cut it. Goodbye Dish.

  4. Martin says:

    A la carte now!

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