Best Satellite TV Service Providers 2022

DISH has the best DVR and pricing in the long run, but DIRECTV is the best for NFL football fans and those who want lots of channels​​

Best Value
Dish Authorized Retailer
DISH
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starting from
$49.99
/mo
Monthly price
$49.99$104.99
Available channels
290
Best for Sports
Directv
DIRECTV
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Starting from
$64.99
/mo
Monthly price
$64.99$139.99
Available channels
340
Chantel Buchi
Staff Writer, TV & Streaming
Read More
September 15, 2022
7 min read

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If you’re going to install a satellite dish on top of your home, let’s make sure that the provider you pick is worthy of your home. We’ve done the research and testing, and we’re going to give you a close look at the best satellite TV providers—DISH Network and DIRECTV—to find which is best for you.  

DIRECTV offers NFL SUNDAY TICKET, every football fan’s fave, but you’ll need to keep a closer eye on your satellite bill as it goes up in the second year. On the other hand, DISH doesn’t have sneaky price hikes, but it might not be the best pick for some sports fans.

How do DISH TV and DIRECTV compare?
Provider
Monthly price
Available channels
Learn more
Dish Authorized Retailer$49.99$104.99*290
Directv$64.99$139.99340
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For 24 months with a 2-year agreement and eAutoPay.
For 12 months plus taxes & fees, w/24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies
Enter your zip code to see if satellite TV is available in your area.

How does DISH's and DIRECTV's pricing compare?

DISH has consistent pricing, but DIRECTV has more channels

DIRECTV reigns supreme when it comes to available channels, but DISH offers a consistent monthly price throughout your 2-year contract. With DISH, you won’t have to deal with your prices hiking up by nearly double your monthly rate after the first year.

Whether you’re more focused on maximizing your entertainment or keeping an eye on your budget, you’ll know the best option for you once you finish reading this review.

How much does DISH TV cost?
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
America's Top 120$69.99/mo.190
America's Top 120+$84.99/mo.^190+
America's Top 200$94.99/mo.°240+
America's Top 250$104.99/mo.**290+
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
for 24. months. Everyday Price $104.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
^ for 24. months. Everyday Price $109.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
° for 24. months. Everyday Price $119.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
** for 24. months. Everyday Price $129.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.

If you're interested in bundling DISH TV with internet, check out our best DISH bundles piece. Bundling is convenient so you only have to worry about one bill, and we'll guide you through finding the best bundle for you and your family's needs.

DIRECTV offers the most channels between these two satellite TV providers. So if you need more than 330 channels, DIRECTV is at your service.

How much does DIRECTV cost?
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
ENTERTAINMENT All-Included$64.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos††165+
CHOICE All-Included$69.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos‡‡200+
ULTIMATE All-Included$89.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos^^270+
PREMIER All-Included$139.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos°°340+
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
†† Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $74.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.
‡‡ Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $79.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.
^^ Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $99.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.
°° Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $149.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.
Get 3 months of HBO Max
Deals

DIRECTV is offering customers 3 months of HBO MAX for free with a 24-month agreement. Plus, get SHOWTIME, EPIX, and Cinemax that are included for the first 3 months when you sign up. 

Do DISH and DIRECTV have a contract?

DIRECTV requires you to sign a two-year contract, but DISH has a no-contract option or a two-year contract option.

The no-contract Flex TV option through DISH allows you to prepay for your TV package and then pay as you go each month. Your monthly bill will be $10–$15 more than advertised. But you won't have to worry about weaseling your way out of a contract if you decide to cancel.

If you sign a contract, you’ll have to commit to the satellite TV service to avoid the early termination fees (which can get a bit pricey).

Oh, and don’t forget, DIRECTV raises your plan’s monthly price after year one by double. For example, your ENTERTAINMENT bill will be $107 per month your second year of service.

DISH early termination fee: 

  • $20 for every month left on your contract

DIRECTV early termination fee:

  • Up to $20 per month left on your contract

Do DISH and DIRECTV have hidden fees?

DISH and DIRECTV both charge some DVR and equipment fees.

Let’s start with DISH because their receiver fees can get a little confusing. When you order one receiver for your home, you’ll get the Hopper Duo (125 HD hours) with DVR service for $5 per month.

DISH upgrades your main set-top box to the Hopper 2 when you order three DVR’s for your home. And it’s not until you order four receivers for your home will you get the Hopper 3. Both the Hopper 2 and Hopper 3 store 500 HD hours and cost $10 per month.

The additional receiver you order is called a Joey ($5 per month each).

But we don’t like the fact that you can’t get the Hopper 3, one of the best DVRs on the market, unless you basically had a huge family.

DIRECTV includes the Genie DVR (200 HD hours) with your plan, and it’ll cost $7 per month for each additional receiver. But DIRECTV has the audacity to charge a regional sports fee.

Many major satellite TV providers charge a hefty fee when customers need to move their equipment. DISH offers free in-home installation to existing customers who are planning to move at no additional cost. 

How much are DISH's and DIRECTV's fees?

Fees
DISH
DIRECTV

Installation fee

Included

Included

Activation fee

Up to $50

$19.95 (one-time)

First DVR receiver fee

Included

Included

Additional DVR receivers fee

$5.00-$10.00/mo.

$7.00/mo.

Regional sports fee

$0-$3/mo.

$11.99/mo.

Which channels does DISH and DIRECTV have?

With satellite TV, you’ll get a wide variety of popular channels straight to your television

Good news: you’ll get most of your favorite channels with both satellite TV providers, like CNN, Disney Channel, Comedy Central, and NFL Network.

We know you need your daily CNN Newsroom Live, and if you need to distract the little ones, you can turn on Big City Greens.

DISH has about the same sports coverage that DIRECTV does, but DIRECTV has an NFL SUNDAY TICKET add-on that gives you all out-of-market NFL football games (basically a front-row ticket to 200+ games on your couch).

Compare the channel lineup of both DISH and DIRECTV to figure out which one suits your entertainment, sports, lifestyle, or reality TV needs.

Which popular channels does DISH and DIRECTV have?
Channel
DISH
DIRECTV
BravoAll packagesAll packages

CNN

All packages

All packages

Disney Channel

All packages

All packages

ESPN

All packages

All packages

Food Network

All packages

All packages

Fox News

All packages

All packages

Hallmark Channel

America's Top 200 and up

All packages

HGTV

All packages

All packages

MSNBC

All packages

All packages

Nickelodeon

All packages

All packages

TNT

All packages

All packages

Univision

America's Top 200 and up

All packages

USA

All packages

All packages

Data effective 09/15/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

DISH vs. DIRECTV premium channels

DISH and DIRECTV offer roughly the same premium channels. You can catch up on Euphoria on HBO Max or City of God on CINEMAX whether you have DISH or DIRECTV. And both DISH and DIRECTV give you some intro perks.

If you order one of DIRECTV's packages today, you'll get free subscriptions to HBO Max, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME, Starz, and EPIX for three months.

DISH also offers a free 3-month subscription to Starz, Starz Encore, SHOWTIME, EPIX, and DISH Movie Pack (15 movie channels, including Sony Movie Channel and MGM HD).

Just make sure you cancel them at the end of your free period or you’ll get charged.

How much are DISH's and DIRECTV's premium channels?
Channel
DISH price
DIRECTV price

HBO Max™

$15.00/mo.

$14.99/mo.

SHOWTIME®

$10.00/mo.

$11.00/mo.

CINEMAX®

$10.00/mo.

$11.00/mo.

STARZ®

$10.00/mo.

$11.00/mo.

STARZ ENCORE®

$6.00/mo. Included with STARZ subscription

EPIX®

$7.00/mo.

$6.00/mo.

DISH Movie Pack

$10.00/mo.

$4.99/mo.

Data effective 09/15/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Which sports channels do DISH TV vs. DIRECTV have?

DIRECTV takes the sports channel championship belt because of one big feature: NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

NFL SUNDAY TICKET lets you watch every out-of-market NFL game—all Sunday games your local broadcasting stations don’t carry. And NFL SUNDAY TICKET is included in the top three DIRECTV packages for your first year. (Now that’s a win.)

Along with NFL SUNDAY TICKET, DIRECTV also has the following sports channels:

  • Big Ten Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN, ESPN2
  • ESPN College Extra
  • ESPNews
  • ESPN U
  • Fox Sports (FS1), FS2
  • Golf Channel
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NFL Network
  • NHL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • SEC Network
  • Sportsman Channel
  • Tennis Channel
  • TUDN
  • TVG Network

But make sure the package you plan on getting has the sports channels you need. You'll get all of them with the ULTIMATE plan ($100 per month) but you'll have to upgrade to the most expensive DIRECTV package if you want ESPN College Extra.

But even though DIRECTV has the TICKET, DISH has a 6+ more sports channels. And you get all of them (besides the beIN channels and Sportsman channel) with the $94.99 per month plan.

This same plan even made our list for the top providers for the NBA season.

DISH has the following sports channels:

  • ACC Network (ACCN)
  • beIN Sports
  • beIN Sports en Español
  • Big Ten Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN, ESPN2
  • ESPNews
  • ESPN U
  • FS1, FS2
  • Golf Channel
  • Longhorn Network
  • MLB Network
  • MotorTrend
  • NBA TV
  • NBC Sports Network
  • NFL Network
  • NHL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • PAC-12 Network
  • SEC Network
  • Sportsman Channel
  • Tennis Channel
  • TUDN
  • TUDNxtra 1–11
  • Zona Fútbol

If you’re a huge sports fan, be sure to also check out our roundup of the best sports packages from cable and streaming TV providers.

How do DISH's and DIRECTV's DVR compare?

Both DISH and DIRECTV have some of the best DVRs in the traditional TV industry, but the Hopper and Genie have their ups and downs.

How much are DISH's and DIRECTV's DVR?
Provider
DISH
DIRECTV
DVR storage 125—500 HD hrs.

200 HD hrs.

DVR fee

Hopper Duo ($5.00/mo.), Hopper 2 and 3 ($10.00/mo.)

First receiver included

Additional DVR receivers fee$7.00/mo.

$7.00/mo.

What we like about DISH's Hopper DVR is the storage space. What we don't like is the new confusing pricing.

When you order one set-top box for your home, you'll get DISH's Hopper Duo, which gives you 125 HD recording hours for $5 per month (that's a pretty good deal).

When you order three receivers, you'll get the Hopper 2. That means you'll get one Hopper 2 and two Joey's, making your fee $24 per month.

And finally, when you order four or more receivers for the family, this is when DISH's checkout will allow you to get the Hopper 3 and three Joeys (a total of $31 for the fee).

This Hopper 3 will give you a 500 recording hours. You'll be able to record all 201 episodes of The Office, the weekend’s 16 NFL football games, and over 170 movies, and still have room for more.

And DIRECTV so kindly includes the Genie DVR with your plan, giving you 200 HD recording hours. You’ll be able to record all 130 episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and 120 of Saturday Night Live before you even sit on the couch to binge-watch.

Recap: DISH is the winner

DISH has a better value, but DIRECTV has NFL SUNDAY TICKET

After comparing price, contracts, overall channel count, sports channel availability, and DVR storage, DISH comes out ahead between these two satellite providers.

DIRECTV does offer NFL SUNDAY TICKET, but DISH has better pricing that stays consistent throughout the contract. It also provides you with lots of popular channels, including great sports coverage.

  • Pricing: DISH offers more bang for your buck in the long run because you don't have to worry about second-year price hikes. You can choose to go the Flex TV no-contract route or pay $10–$15 less with a 2-year commitment. If you want more than 330+ channels, make sure you budget for DIRECTV's year two rates.
  • Channels: You’ll get most of your favorite live TV channels with both providers, and both give you free memberships for premium channels for a period of time.
  • Sports Channels: DISH has the most sports channels, but DIRECTV has NFL SUNDAY TICKET for the football families. If you live in Miami but you're a Seattle Seahawks fan and you want to watch every full Seahawks game, you'll want the TICKET.
  • DVR: DISH's Hopper 3 can give you loads of storage space with 500 hours, but you'll have to order four receivers total to get this great set-top box. This might not be a problem for you if you have a full house though. DIRECTV's DVR only has 200 hours of storage, but the first receiver is free (and 200 hours is still quite a bit).

FAQs

How much are DISH TV's plans?

DISH plan
Channels
Price
Learn more
America's Top 120190$69.99/mo.
America's Top 120+190+$84.99/mo.^
America's Top 200240+$94.99/mo.°
America's Top 250290+$104.99/mo.**
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
for 24. months. Everyday Price $104.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
^ for 24. months. Everyday Price $109.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
° for 24. months. Everyday Price $119.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
** for 24. months. Everyday Price $129.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.

Does DISH offer a senior discount?

DISH offers customers 55+ and up a variety of discounts including free in-home installation, discounted Stars & Stripes package upgrades, identity protection, free monthly movies, and a 2-year price guarantee. DISH also offers discount options to veterans, healthcare providers, teachers, and first responders. 

Which satellite TV provider is the best?

As you can check out in our Recap section, we awarded DISH with the award of best satellite TV provider.

DISH has better overall pricing that is not only consistent but also offers the best bang for your buck. DISH's Hopper 3 is also our favorite DVR with 500 hours of storage space.

For sports fans, DISH also offers more sports channels but lacks NFL SUNDAY TICKET, which you can only find on DIRECTV—you'll need to make the call there.

What is the cheapest satellite TV provider?

Between the two giants of satellite TV, DISH is the cheapest satellite TV provider. If you are worried about your wallet, DISH offers some excellent value in its package offerings.

Additionally, you won't need to worry about second-year price hikes with DISH as you will with some other providers. You can even choose to sign a 2-year commitment to drop your bill by $10-15/month.

Now that you know, here are your next steps.
Dish
4 out of 5 stars
4

Read our full DISH Network Review

Directv
3 out of 5 stars
3

Read our full DIRECTV Review

Chantel Buchi
Written by
Chantel Buchi
Chantel is all about finding the best tv or streaming service to watch as many football games as possible to keep her Fantasy Football team in check. Prior to being a TV and Streaming Tech Reporter for Reviews.org, she worked for NFL Network and The Alliance of American Football. Before that, she received a B.A. of Communication at the University of Utah and an M.S. in Sports Journalism at USC. Go Utes and Fight On. Contact her at chantel@reviews.org

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