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DirecTV Stream to raise prices in January

(Logo courtesy DirecTV/Graphic designed by The Desk)

Customers of DirecTV Stream will be paying more for their live news, sports and entertainment programming, starting next year.

In a notice sent to customers this week, DirecTV Said the upcoming price changes will see customers paying between $5 and $10 more per month for their streaming channels.

The price increase takes effect on January 22, 2023. Customers will see the higher prices reflected on their bills when their subscription renews on or after that date. Customers on introductory or discounted rates won’t see the price increase until after their promotion expires, DirecTV Stream officials said.

A spokesperson for DirecTV Stream said the price increase is needed because of higher programming costs. DirecTV Stream and its related products, AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV satellite, recently renewed carriage of Fox-owned broadcast stations and cable channels after warning of a potential programming blackout that both companies were able to avoid.

These are the new prices for DirecTV Stream’s package, which take effect on January 22…

  • Entertainment: $75 a month (up from $60 a month)
  • Choice: $100 a month (up from $90 a month)
  • Ultimate: $110 a month (up from $105 a month)
  • Premiere: $155 a month (up from $150 a month)

Customers who were grandfathered into older DirecTV Stream packages will also see price hikes:

  • Optimo Mas will increase by $4,
  • Live a Little and Entertainment packages will increase by $5,
  • Just Right, Choice and Xtra packages will increase by $8, and
  • Go Big, Gotta Have It, Plus (Midas), Plus (Midas, no HBO), Max (Midas) and Ultimate will increase by $10.

Subscribers who switch their programming packages may lose their eligibility for promotions and discounts, DirecTV Stream said.

The price increases will impact sports fans the hardest, since DirecTV Stream is one of the few streaming cable TV alternatives carrying regional sports channels like Root Sports, Bally Sports, Altitude and AT&T SportsNet that can be difficult to find on other services.

For streamers who just want general entertainment, live news and national sports channels, there are a few other options to consider:

Sling TV offers two base packages — Sling Orange and Sling Blue — starting at $40 a month. Both packages offer TBS, TNT, CNN, Comedy Central, the Food Network, Lifetime and a handful of other entertainment channels. Sling Orange includes Disney-owned channels, including ESPN, while Sling Blue carries Fox and Comcast-owned channels like Fox News, Fox Sports 1, USA, E! and NFL Network (Sling Blue also offers legacy Fox cable networks FX and National Geographic). A combined Sling Orange-Blue package costs $55 a month, and add-on packages are available for other channels like Paramount Network. As of this writing, Sling TV is running a deal where streamers can get 50 percent off their first month of service when they sign up using this link.

Philo doesn’t carry cable news or sports channels, but it does have a little bit of everything for everyone, and it’s only $25 a month. With over 60 live channels to choose from and thousands of on-demand shows and movies, Philo is always serving up something interesting to watch. Live channels carried on Philo come from A+E Networks (A&E, History Channel, FYI, Lifetime, Vice), AMC Networks (AMC, IFC, We TV, BBC America, BBC World News), Paramount Global (Comedy Central, MTV, TV Land, VH1, Nickelodeon) and the Discovery side of Warner Bros Discovery (Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, HGTV). It even offers hard-to-find channels like Me TV, Heroes & Icons and Decades, along with a cloud DVR that saves shows and movies for at least a year. It’s also the cheapest way to watch Yellowstone, cable television’s hit drama. The service offers a seven-day free trial when customers sign up using this link.

Frndly TV is the cheapest cable TV alternate on the market, with access to over 40 family-friendly channels like A&E, History Channel, Me TV, GAC Family, Heroes & Icons, Game Show Network and more. All channels are available for just $7 a month, though there are two other packages for customers who want extra features like high-definition streaming and an expanded cloud DVR. A seven-day free trial is available to new subscribers who sign up using this link.

Fubo TV is a sports fan’s dream come true. The service offers major cable sports channels like ESPN, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, NFL Network, NHL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV and more, starting at $70 a month. Want to watch local NFL, MLB, NBA and NASCAR events on NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox? Fubo TV has those channels, too (local channel availability varies based on area). Add-on packages for movie networks like Showtime and Epix along with niche sports networks are also available for separate fees. A seven-day free trial is available to streamers who sign up using this link.

Vidgo is a relatively new service that offers a wealth of college sports channels and other programming that can be tough to find on other streaming services. It’s the only streaming cable alternative to carry the Big 10 Network, the Longhorn Network, ESPN, NFL Network, NHL Network, MLB Network, Fox Sports 1, ACC Network, ESPN U, Pac-12 Networks, SEC Network and Stadium in a base programming package, which costs $60 a month. A higher tier of channels, at $80 a month, includes NFL RedZone and other sports channels. Entertainment networks like Comedy Central, FX, the Disney Channel, Discovery Channel, Paramount Network and TLC are also offered in the base package of over 100 live channels. Access to local feeds of ABC and Fox stations are also available. Check out Vidgo’s full channel lineup at this link.

YouTube TV is a great cable alternative that offers a little bit of everything at a really affordable price. For $65 a month, viewers get local broadcast and cable channels from Comcast’s NBC Universal, Fox Corporation, the Walt Disney Company, AMC Networks, Paramount Global, Warner Bros Discovery and other programmers, including cable news and sports cornerstones like the Fox News Channel, ESPN, Fox Sports, NFL Network, CNN, MSNBC, CBS Sports Network and more. Streamers can save a total of $45 off their YouTube TV subscription and score a free trial when they sign up using this link.

There are a number of other streaming services to consider, including Hulu with Live TV, a Disney-owned cable alternative that costs $70 a month (0r $83 a month if you want Hulu content without ads) and includes free access to Disney Plus and ESPN Plus. Some streaming apps also offer live access to local broadcast stations, including Peacock Premium Plus ($10 a month, includes live access to Sunday Night Football and local NBC stations) and Paramount Plus ($10 a month, includes live access to local CBS feeds, CBS-broadcast NFL football games and other sports). The on-demand version of Hulu ($8 a month with ads, $15 a month without ads) includes prime-time shows from ABC and Fox one day after they air on TV.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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