Well it is the time of year when both cable and satellite TV companies are raising rates.Comcast got the ball rolling in November of 2008, with notice that they would be raising rates on their subscribers. Dish Network followed up with their own announcement that took effect in early February of 2009, also raising prices on customers.
Direct TV is the latest major player to announce a rate increase. The Direct TV price increase will take effect in early March, and will raise the prices of most packages between $3 and $5 dollars each. Direct TV is citing higher programming costs as the reason for the increase.
All in all, the increase won’t break any budgets. When you look at it logically, they are basically raising the price of service about a dime a day, well worth it for most subscribers who watch between one and four hours of television each day. Still, it seems as if consumers are getting nickel and dimed to death, even with the economy going into the tank.
On the other hand, Direct TV and Dish Network are still very competitive when comparing their prices to cable companies like Comcast. One example is the price charged for DVR service every month. The DirecTV DVR is about $6 per month, while Comcast charges upwards of $15 for their DVR service. Charges like this really can inflate your bill.
Direct TV had another great quarter to finish out 2008. They added over 300,000 customers in the latest reporting quarter, while Comcast lost a half a million. That in itself show that DirecTV feels comfortable raising rates, even though the economy continues to slow to a crawl. Dish Network will certainly have a hard time keeping up with Direct TV in 2009, as they have lost a key reseller, with AT&T switching over and offering Direct TV service this year.