DirecTV to Uncouple Premium Tiers


In an effort to remain competitive and reduce potential retail consumer
confusion, DirecTV Inc. said it would update its programming packages, effective
Feb. 1.

Dubbed 'Project Simple,' the new strategy shifts premium sports and movie
channels away from bundles that include basic-cable networks and into tiers of
one to five pay services.

Any of the premium services - Home Box Office, Showtime, Starz, Encore,
Cinemax or a sports package - can be purchased individually for $12 a month.

Adding a second premium service brings the package to $22 a month and further
discounts are taken off each additional premium service.

Consumer research showed that premium tiers were deemed simpler and afforded
subscribers more flexibility, said DirecTV executive vice president of marketing
and advertising Larry Chapman.

The company plan to further detail the packaging changes at a press
conference during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and on its revamped
Web site (

Customers can also upgrade to the new packages online.