DirecTV Plans Summer Promo

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With Memorial Day just around the corner, direct-broadcast satellite providers are putting the final touches on summer campaigns designed to make sure consumers keep their thoughts on television amid all of the possible outdoor distractions.

DirecTV Inc., for example, is using spokesman Drew Carey to entice new subscribers to the service with new 30-second television ads in which the sitcom star dances to the tune of "That's the Way I Like It" by KC and The Sunshine Band.

The ads launch in tandem with a new DirecTV promotion offering new subscribers two free months of movies and sports programming, including 32 premium channels and 25 sports networks.

To qualify, new customers must buy DirecTV systems between May 25 and July 9 and activate service on the company's "Total Choice" programming package by July 21.

Starting May 25, all new and old DirecTV subscribers can also take advantage of a free preview of its new "Family Pack" channels, which include The Biography Channel, Boomerang, Discovery Kids, Do It Yourself, Odyssey, Oxygen, PBS Kids and SoapNet.

"New customers who choose DirecTV will receive a double windfall-more than 50 channels free for two months, as well as a free preview of the new Family Pack networks-a tremendous viewing value compared to cable services," senior vice president of marketing Susan Collins said in a prepared statement.

May 25 also marks the date of DirecTV's $2-per-month price increase on programming packages for new subscribers only. The increase brings the cost of Total Choice to $31.95 for customers who are new to the DBS service. Other programming services incorporate premium sports and movie channels. The Family Pack will be sold as a separate tier.

Pegasus Communications Corp.'s Pegasus Satellite Television division announced earlier this month that it has launched a promotion offering free satellite systems to new residential subscribers to its DirecTV service. The DirecTV reseller also allows its dealer base to participate in an optional $100 installation-discount offer.

New Pegasus customers would need to commit to a one-year subscription to one of three programming packages, the company said. The offer is only good in territories where Pegasus is authorized to resell DirecTV. Pegasus sells service in mostly rural areas in 41 states, and it has access to 7.2 million homes.

The Pegasus promotion is expected to run through the end of this year.

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