DirecTV to Hike Rates as Much as 6% in 2015

DirecTV, in an annual tradition, said it will raise prices across all programming packages ranging between 3.5% and 6%, effective Feb. 5, 2015.

The No. 1 satcaster, in a message to customers, said it will raise the baseline price of the Entertainment package to $59.99 per month (up 3.5%), while the Xtra package will increase to $77.99 a month (up 5.5%). Its Ultimate package will increase 6% to $86.99 monthly, and the Premier plan will climb 5.4% to $136.99 per month.

In addition, DirecTV will raise the “TV fee” 8.3%, from $6 to $6.50 per month, for each additional set-top or connected TV set, and will hike its surcharges for regional sports networks by up to $2.14 per month depending on ZIP code. Rates for premium and Spanish-language programming packages also will increase in 2015.

AT&T is the midst of acquiring DirecTV in a deal pending regulatory approval. The telco has said it expects the DirecTV deal to reduce programming costs for the smaller U-verse TV service by at least 20%.

DirecTV has raised prices every year for the last decade; in 2014, the company hiked fees an average of 3.7%.

As it does every time it raises prices, DirecTV pointed the finger at programmers for the cost increases and claimed its rate increases are below those of other pay-TV providers. “Every year, the owners of the television channels you watch demand higher prices,” the company says in a message to customers.

At the same time, the satellite TV operator — with 20 million U.S. customers — highlighted the fact that it has expanded access to programming, including via its contract renewal earlier this month with Disney/ESPN under which users can watch channels on connected devices both at home and outside the home.

The satcaster noted in the message to customers that the price hikes affect only those with regular, non-promotional packages. DirecTV subs with promo pricing price will be unaffected through the end of the promotional period.

News of DirecTV’s 2015 rate hikes was previously posted on the blog site SatelliteGuys.us.

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