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DirecTV February 2K10 Price Hike

Today I got an email from DirecTV telling me that their prices were going up. Yippee?

I've been a DirecTV user since 2001 in Florida. At the time, I even subscribed to the NFL package (which, then, was $199 and which now costs roughly ten times as much) because I didn't want to watch Dolphins games every weekend, but rather those of my Steelers.

I'm still using a grandfathered "Total Choice Plus" package that gets something like 150 channels. I pay $57.99/month with $6 for DVR and $10 for HD access. The current package most similar to mine is the "Choice Xtra + HD DVR," currently $75.99 (a $2 difference). Apparently you also get 50 or so more channels (and 15 more music channels), but I don't know that I care about those.

New pricing for the Choice Xtra + HD DVR plan as of February 9, 2010: $79.99. New pricing for my options: $10 for the HD stays the same. The DVR add-on goes up to $7, and the grandfathered "Total Choice Plus" package becomes $61.49. Total cost: $78.49. Still saving $1.50.

A friend told me he just got the same notification from DirecTV the day he decided to switch to a combination of purely OTA broadcasts and Netflix. I don't think we can do that here, and our only other alternative - Time-Warner Cable - is a non-starter. I've heard nothing but problems from most of the people on the TWC system. While they provide a good to great cable Internet service (once they fixed the problems, that is), their DVR is, in particular, quite atrocious.

Still, we don't really watch a lot of television. Carey likes her shows, and I like mine (Penguins hockey on FSN in particular), but we're quickly reaching the point where I may also switch to OTA and Netflix (streaming + DVDs). Most of the television I watch is in the background. I watch a fair amount of network television, but I also watch Golf Channel, FSN, and a smattering of other channels from TLC to Nickelodeon to… whatever. ESPN. NHL Network. TNT. USA (less more recently).

So anyway, long story short: I still save $1.50 and only give up about 50 channels I probably wouldn't ever watch, but with taxes and fees we're getting closer and closer to $100, the price point at which I'm quite likely to just say "screw it" and ditch DirecTV altogether.

Though talk of a true a la carte style cable provider has died down in recent years, I'd gladly pay $50/month for, say, ten channels. One of them would NOT be ESPN, and with the ten channels I'd still get 90% of what we get now. DirecTV would still be able to make a pretty penny - they wouldn't have to pay ESPN the exhorbitant fees it apparently requires of providers - along with the fees of the other 4,000 channels I wouldn't subscribe to. If they can't make money on $50 for ten channels, the TV industry is more screwed up than I thought possible.

P.S. I realize it no longer saves characters to type "2K" for a year in the 2000s. 2K through 2K9, yes. 2K10, not so much. I'll have to wean myself off the "K" method here quickly.

6 Responses to "DirecTV February 2K10 Price Hike"

  1. I was a longtime and happy DirecTV customer. When we moved, we went cable (Comcast) which turned to TWC, and sucked.

    Since then I've switched to Dish Network and am fairly pleased. I'm on a plan that doesn't exist anymore (Absolute HD), and I get around 50 non-premium HD channels (including Golf Channel) for $29.99 + $5 locals + $5 HD DVR (runs two TVs). It's awesome.

    I'm not sure what the current plan offerings are, but I believe they still do offer some form of HD-only plan (gets you the HD channels in SD as well).

    The one upside was that Golf Channel was otherwise only available with their most expensive package (250+ or whatever), but was included in this AbsoluteHD plan.

    Hit and see what they offer today, it might be worth your while.

  2. I just canceled DirecTV in favor of a media center pc and OTA HD / Netflix. I'm going to miss all the sports (Atlanta Thrashers, Hawks, F1 and ALMS) but I'm not going to miss the $65 bill every month. My programming package was grandfathered in for so long that if I changed anything, my bill would climb at least another $10. I still don't know what I'm going to do long term. Everything is too expensive these days (cable, dtv, and dish).

  3. I'm also not going to miss the directv DVR which is frustratingly sluggish. The media center pc consumes a few more watts when in use, but it also powers off when I'm not watching it (while also powering itself back on when it needs to record something).

  4. [quote comment="56716"]I'm going to miss all the sports (Atlanta Thrashers, Hawks, F1 and ALMS) but I'm not going to miss the $65 bill every month.[/quote]

    Oh c'mon, now I know you're full of it. Who could possibly miss watching the Thrashers? 🙂 J/K. Heh heh heh.

  5. Well, I haven't seen them in a few weeks as I no longer have DTV. Trust me, knowing I wouldn't have to watch this years train wreck was a deciding factor. I'd have a better outlook on the team if they would just dump Kovalchuck and his inability to play a lick of defense.

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