DirecTV to Hike Rates 5.7% in 2015

New Charges Take Effect Feb. 5

DirecTV said it will raise prices for its video packages on average about 5.7% in 2015, in an effort to help offset rising programming costs.

In a message to customers, DirecTV said the new rates will take effect on Feb. 5.

According to the company, its 140-channel Entertainment package will rise 3.5% to $59.99 per month while its 150-channel Choice package will increase 6% to $70.99 from $66.99 per month. Rounding out the offerings, DirecTV’s Xtra package (including more than 205 channels) will rise 5.5% to $77.99 from $73.99 per month, its 225-channel Ultimate TV package will increase 6% to $86.99 from $81.99 per month and its all-in 285-channel Premier package will increase 5.4% to $136.99 from $129.99 per month.

The satellite giant also will increase other fees – its regional sports surcharge will rise by as much as $2.14 in select markets, while its TV fee – the monthly charge for additional television sets in a household – will increase 8.3% to $6.50 from $6 per month.

Spanish language packages also will experience increases in the coming year.

The increases do not affect customers that are currently under promotional offerings. However the new prices will take affect after that promotional period rolls off.

 “As with all cable, satellite and TV providers, television networks continue to increase the programming fees they charge for the right to distribute their shows, movies and sporting events,” DirecTV said in a statement. “While the networks are increasing their fees to DirecTV by double-digits, we are limiting the price adjustment to customer¹s monthly bill by an average of 5.7%.  Not all customers will be impacted, some customers will not have an increase in their monthly programming fees, DirecTV is absorbing the increase on their behalf.”

DirecTV added that over the past year it has increased its already leading number of HD channels, became the first provider to launch 4K Ultra HD and has made moves to improve the customer experience, including training more than 30,000 agents and adding new features, like live online chat, that let customers get their questions answered at their convenience. The company also has added increased time-shifting capabilities, enabling customers to watch programs up to 72 hours after their original air without recording them on their DVRs and the ability to “Look Back” and watch a show that is already in progress from the beginning.