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DirecTV Stream raising prices weeks after Nexstar deal

The price increase is meant to help DirecTV Stream "remain competitive in the marketplace," according to a notice sent to customers.

The price increase is meant to help DirecTV Stream "remain competitive in the marketplace," according to a notice sent to customers.

A passenger uses a tablet to watch a live feed of ABC, powered by DirecTV, on a Southwest flight. (Courtesy image)
A passenger uses a tablet to watch a live feed of ABC, powered by DirecTV, on a Southwest flight. (Courtesy image)

DirecTV says it will raise the price of its streaming television service next month, a move that is intended to help address higher programming-related costs.

In a notice sent to customers, DirecTV Stream said the price adjustment was intended to help the service “remain competitive in the marketplace, while still delivering the best-possible programming.”

The hikes will see most streamers pay anywhere from $5 to $10 more to watch local broadcast channels and cable networks through DirecTV Stream, including regional sports networks in areas where they are offered.

The new prices, which take effect on November 5, are listed below:

  • Entertainment: $80 a month (previously $75 a month)
  • Choice: $109 a month (previously $100 a month)
  • Ultimate: $120 a month (previously $110 a month)
  • Premier: $165 a month (previously $155 a month)
  • Optimo Mas: $20 a month (previously $15 a month)

Additionally, DirecTV Stream says it will raise the price of its Showtime premium movie network add-on by $1, with customers paying $12 per month to access Showtime programming. The cost of AMC Plus, another premium add-on, will also go up by $1, with streamers paying $10 a month for that service.

The announcement of the price increases come about a month after DirecTV signed a new distribution agreement with Nexstar Media Group, whose local broadcast channels were unavailable to subscribers during a weeks-long carriage dispute that started in July. During the dispute, DirecTV accused Nexstar of demanding higher fees in exchange for the right to distribute its 160-plus local ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and CW Network affiliates.

Nexstar is the largest broadcaster in the country, and the dispute left DirecTV customers in much of the country without access to at least one of their local television stations while the two sides debated over a new agreement.

DirecTV didn’t specifically blame Nexstar for their latest round of price hikes. But the situation continues a trend of programmers raising prices after engaging in programming-related disputes over costs associated with local and national channels.

Last year, DirecTV rival Dish Network pulled several cable channels owned by the Walt Disney Company — including, most notably, ESPN — for about two days after a similar programming agreement lapsed without a new one in place. During the blackout, Dish accused Disney of seeking more money for the same portfolio of channels. Shortly after the situation was resolved, Dish implemented price increases on its satellite and Sling TV customers.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).