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Dish Network to raise satellite TV prices in October

The company blamed higher programming-related costs for the fee increases.

The company blamed higher programming-related costs for the fee increases.

A Dish Network satellite dish.
A Dish Network satellite dish. (Photo by Cody Logan via Wikimedia Commons, Graphic by The Desk)

Dish Network says it will raise prices across most of its satellite television packages in October, according to a notice sent to customers and reviewed by The Desk on Friday.

The company says the price increases are needed to offset higher programming-related costs, which Dish must pay to the owners of broadcast and cable channels in order to legally carry them on their service.

“The price that we pay for programming continues to rise,” Dish said in its notice to customers. “In fact, the fastest growing cost we and all other TV providers have is driven by the cost we pay the programmers.”

The price increase takes effect on October 12, and comes almost exactly one year after its last price increase, which was spurred by a new carriage agreement with the Walt Disney Company.

The new prices across Dish Network’s satellite packages starting October 12 are as follows:

  • Welcome Pack: $55 a month (previously $50 a month)
  • Smart Pack: $61 a month (previously $56 a month)
  • Flex Pack: $63 a month (previously $57 a month)
  • Dish America: $78 a month (previously $73 a month)
  • America’s Top 120: $93 a month (previously $88 a month)
  • America’s Top 120 Plus: $98 a month (previously $93 a month)
  • America’s Top 200: $107 a month (previously $103 a month)
  • America’s Top 250: $118 a month (previously $113 a month)
  • America’s Everything Pack: $143 a month (previously $139 a month)
  • DishLatino Básico: $62 a month (previously $57 a month)
  • DishLatino Clásico: $65 a month (previously $60 a month)
  • DishLatino Plus: $72 a month (previously $67 a month)
  • DishLatino Dos: $91 a month (previously $86 a month)
  • Dish Latino Max: $103 a month (previously $98 a month)
  • Chinese Basic: $20 a month
  • International Basic: $20 a month

Additionally, Dish says it will raise the late fee charged to customers who miss paying their bills or other related fees by $2, with the new late fee charged to delinquent customers priced at $12.

Customers who are in “price-lock guarantee” periods won’t see their prices increase until the guarantee lapses.

Dish customers do have some cheaper options, but most of them involve ditching the satellite dish for streaming. Dish operates its own cable-like streaming service, called Sling TV, which offers two base programming packages (one with Disney-owned channels like ESPN and Disney Channel, the other with legacy Fox networks like FX, National Geographic and Fox Sports 1), each priced at $40 a month. A combined package that includes both base tiers costs $55 a month.

Dish routinely discounts the price of Sling TV for new customers, with its current deal offering 50 percent off the price of Sling TV for the first month of service. That means new customers who sign up for either of Sling TV’s base programming packages — including the one with ESPN — will only have to pay $20 for their first month.

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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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