DirecTV Testing Local Sports Programming Surcharge in Some Markets

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News Posted: Wed, Dec 12 2012 9:19 AM
I'm a big fan of DirecTV, without which I'd have a harder time following my Boston sports teams now that I no longer live in the New England area. It's an expensive luxury, as all those sports packages quickly add up, and apparently DirecTV has found other ways of cashing in on the love of competition in America. The satellite provider has reportedly begun adding a surcharge for some new customers for local sports channels.

Lest we blow this out of proportion, it's only a $3 per month surcharge, but it's still annoying. According to the Los Angeles Times, it applies to new customers who live in areas where there exists more than one regional sports network. Los Angeles, for example, has four, including News Corp.'s Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West, and Time Warner Cable's SportsNet and Deportes.

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Where applicable, the sports surcharge is tacked onto Choice, Choice Plus, and two other packages. It's not optional, either. If a DirecTV subscriber doesn't want the local sports channels, the only way to remove them and avoid the surcharge is to drop down to a lower cost package.

Sports programmers claim the surcharge is DirecTV's attempt to paint them "as the bad guys," while DirecTV contends the nominal fee covers just a small portion of what it's paying to sports programmers.
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Dorkstar replied on Wed, Dec 12 2012 10:54 AM

Was there some kind of a cost increase from the sports networks, or did DirectTV just decided they were losing money there and decided to pain their customers instead of the sports networks?  Also, why in the world would you cause your customer to drop to a lower package, rather than getting rid of a few sport channels so they wouldn't be charged. 

This entire thing just sounds like a grown man throwing a hissy fit.

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OSunday replied on Wed, Dec 12 2012 12:37 PM

The pricing for TV has always been ridiculous as they find ways to tack on small fees, remove flexibility between what viewers want so it locks them into "packages" that involve paying more.

I haven't had cable for 3 years now (at home or school) and honestly there hasn't been a change in my viewing habits. The exception to this would be sports which I go to a friends house or out to eat to watch.

I'm a huge proponent of "cutting the chord" philosophy,and moving over to online based TV and media

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Dorkstar replied on Wed, Dec 12 2012 12:45 PM

OSunday:

The pricing for TV has always been ridiculous as they find ways to tack on small fees, remove flexibility between what viewers want so it locks them into "packages" that involve paying more.

I haven't had cable for 3 years now (at home or school) and honestly there hasn't been a change in my viewing habits. The exception to this would be sports which I go to a friends house or out to eat to watch.

I'm a huge proponent of "cutting the chord" philosophy,and moving over to online based TV and media

Yep same here.  I just haven't made that move yet.  The wife and I have been discussing it for the past year, we just haven't actually gotten around to doing it.  I remember years ago I found a site that had all the premium channels streaming, so you could watch HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc. for free.  If I can find that site again i'd be kicking verizon out of my house, their TV is horrible.

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RTietjens replied on Wed, Dec 12 2012 2:59 PM

Personally, I think there should be a surcharge for all sports. The higher, the better.

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realneil replied on Wed, Dec 12 2012 8:51 PM

OSunday:
The pricing for TV has always been ridiculous

The packages are the big rip-off. If we could just pay for the stations that interest us, that would make it cheaper for us by far. We could see the end of all of those stupid channels that we don't watch.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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Dorkstar replied on Thu, Dec 13 2012 11:17 AM

realneil:

OSunday:
The pricing for TV has always been ridiculous

The packages are the big rip-off. If we could just pay for the stations that interest us, that would make it cheaper for us by far. We could see the end of all of those stupid channels that we don't watch.

 

I agree completely.  If you live in New York and want to watch a game in LA, you have to buy 50 sports channel?  It makes no sense.

Another thing that really bothers me is MMA and Boxing.  Why are all of these on PPV?  I'm not going to spend $50+ on a fight that can end in a matter of seconds.  I suppose it's to fill the purse of the prize fighters, but you'd think they'd make more money if they opened the fights up to public television.  Perhaps it's too much violence?

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