DirecTV To Raise Rates By 4.5% Starting In February

You are all familiar with the now-common vitriolic disputes between cable/satellite providers and broadcasters every time a contract comes up for renewal. Most of these fights end with both sides shaking hands and smiling — because it’s the consumer who gets screwed in the end.

Just ask the millions of DirecTV customers who are about to see their bills go up by an average of 4.5% in February; an increase DirecTV blames squarely on the bad deals it has made with broadcasters.

“Each year the owners of television channels increase the programming fees they charge to DIRECTV for the right to broadcast their movies, shows and sporting events to you,” writes the nation’s second-largest subscription TV provider. “As a result, DIRECTV must periodically adjust the pricing and channel lineups of our programming packages so we can continue to deliver these channels to you.”

If you believe DirecTV’s math, customers are getting off light with a 4.5% price hike. The company claims that it will be paying out an extra 8% to broadcasters in the coming year because of these renegotiated contracts.

“By holding firm in programming negotiations, we have been able to keep price increases below our cable competitors’,” explains DirecTV.

The company’s most popular package, currently called Choice Xtra, will increase by $2/month, from $68.99 to $70.99. The top-end Premier package increases from $119.99 to $124.99. If you have HBO but not as part of the Premier package, you’ll be paying an extra $2/month.

All the price changes are listed on this PDF.

The new prices will kick in starting Feb. 7. Customers currently receiving promotional pricing are supposed to continue paying that price until their promotional period expires.