DirecTV Sets Rate Hike

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About one week after rival EchoStar Communications Corp. announced a rate hike, rival DirecTV Inc. said it would raise the prices of its most popular programming packages March 1.

The cost of its "Total Choice" package will increase by $3 to $36.99 monthly, while "Total Choice Plus" will increase $2 to $39.99 and "Total Choice Premiere" will rise $2 to $87.99.

Total Choice subscribers who also order DirecTV’s bundle of local channels will pay $39.99 monthly, up $1 from the previous rate. Total Choice Plus with local channels will increase $3 to $43.99, while Total Choice Premiere with locals will rise $3 to $90.99.

The direct-broadcast satellite company isn’t increasing the rates on premium channels, digital-video-recorder service or HDTV packages.

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