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DIRECTV will have everything you need, but it does come with a midcontract price increase
DIRECTV is a great TV option for those who want loads of channels and a traditional TV feel in their living room.
This satellite TV service has all the channels you'll want—including premium channels, like HBO and SHOWTIME.
Although DIRECTV has a two-year contract with second-year price hikes, you're guaranteed a great channel variety for the family, for movie buffs, and for sports addicts.
You may have to budget wisely to have this great service in your home, but read on to see if this is the satellite provider for you.
Quick guide to this article
- DIRECTV has tons of channels.
- This satellite TV provider offers ESPN College Extra
- DIRECTV has price hikes.
- Expect fees/deceiving prices.
How much does DIRECTV cost?
With each TV plan, DIRECTV includes lots of channels and one of the best DVRs in the industry, the Genie. It seems like a good deal at first until you see your monthly bill practically double in the second year of your contract.
We think DIRECTV could be a 5-star service—when they decide to stop this price hike nonsense. Each package comes with a set price amount for the first 24 months. After that, your monthly price will increase.
But if you’re looking for all of your favorite channels and a TV service that is widely available across the US, DIRECTV is the satellite service for you.
TV channel count
|ENTERTAINMENT All-Included||$64.99/mo.*||165+||View Plan|
|CHOICE All-Included||$84.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees†||200+||View Plan|
|ULTIMATE All-Included||$109.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees†||270+||View Plan|
|PREMIER All-Included||$154.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees†||340+||View Plan|
Does DIRECTV have a contract?
As we said in our price hike rant up above: yes, DIRECTV has a two-year contract. Sigh.
And it will be a pain to get out of the contract early. You’ll have to pay an early termination fee if you want out of the relationship. This means you’ll have to pay up to $20 per month that is left on your contract.
So if you want DIRECTV because of all of the channels they offer or because satellite TV is your only TV option in your area, then just make sure to budget for that second-year price hike.
Make sure to sign up for autopay and paperless billing as soon as you sign up for DIRECTV. You’ll get a $5-per-month discount that starts in the first 1–4 billing cycles. This discount only applies for the first year (which is wack, if you ask us).
Does DIRECTV have fees?
Here’s a plus: DIRECTV gives you free installation and free DVR service. No monthly payment!
But you do have to pay for a monthly regional sports fee. Dang, DIRECTV. There you go hurting us again.
Like most other TV providers, you’ll have to pay a monthly DVR fee for additional TV receivers if your daughter and son want one in their room.
How much are DIRECTV's fees?
DVR service fee
Additional receiver fee
Regional sports fee
Up to $13.99/mo.
Data effective 02/08/2023.
First of all, pick out your must-have channels. Then, pick a package based around those channels that’s affordable for you.
But let us help you decide which package might be the chosen one:
- ENTERTAINMENT: With DIRECTV's starter package, you'll have all of your family's favorites like Disney Channel, HGTV, and CNN. Channels that you miss out on going from CHOICE to ENTERTAINMENT that are worth mentioning are TeenNick and TV Land, but in return, you get ESPN and Lifetime Movie Network.
- CHOICE: The CHOICE package tends to the sports-watching families. Not only do you get a few more key sports channels, like NFL Network, but football fans will also get access to ESPN College Extra with DIRECTV.
- ULTIMATE: This upgrade adds channels for movie lovers, such as ENCORE Action and ENCORE Drama. If you’re a big fan of Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer, you’re going to want this package for the Tennis Channel. And your kids will love Boomerang and PBS Kids. Plans ULTIMATE and below also get three months free of Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, Cinemax, and MGM+. Just make sure to cancel after three months if you don't want to pay for them.
- PREMIER: The biggest package is for the movie buffs and includes 45+ premium channels, including Max, Cinemax, STARZ, and SHOWTIME. And for the international sports fans, the PREMIER package also includes Fox Deportes and Fox Soccer Channel.
Which channels does DIRECTV have?
Luckily, you don’t have to pay for the highest-tier packages to get the channels you want with DIRECTV. You’re likely to find the channel variety you need in the ENTERTAINMENT plan. (All plans include your local channels, as well.)
But don’t let us stop you if you need a channel lineup that has all the sports or all the movies. We’ll highlight some channels each package includes when you upgrade from one to another.
DIRECTV'S ENTERTAINMENT plan includes the following:
- Animal Planet
- BBC America
- Bloomberg TV
- Cartoon Network
- Disney Channel
- ESPN, ESPN2
- Food Network
- Fox News
- Hallmark Channel
- National Geographic
- PBS Kids
- USA Network
DIRECTV CHOICE plan includes the following:
- Big Ten Network
- CNBC World
- Cooking Channel
- Game Show Network (GSN)
- MLB Network
- NBA TV
- NFL Network
- Nick Jr.
- Science Channel
DIRECTV ULTIMATE plan includes the following:
- BBC World News
- Discovery Family Channel
- FX Movie Channel
- Golf Channel
- Lifetime Movie Network
- MTV Classic
- NHL Network
- STARZ ENCORE Action
- STARZ ENCORE Family
- STARZ ENCORE Suspense
- THE MOVIE CHANNEL
- Universal Kids
DIRECTV PREMIER plan includes the following:
- CINEMAX ActionMax
- ESPN College Extra
- Fox Deportes
- Fox Soccer Channel
- HBO Comedy
- HBO Family
- HBO Latino
- Outdoor Channel
- SHOWTIME EXTREME
- SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE
- STARZ Cinema
- STARZ Kids & Family
- CINEMAX ThrillerMax
How much are DIRECTV's premium channels and add-ons?
Guess what? DIRECTV tosses a free subscription to CINEMAX, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and MGM+ for three months on all plans below PREMIER. That's one of the best premium channel perks in the TV industry!
Don't forget to cancel your subscription after the three months is up, or else you'll be charged $54 per month. Or just make sure you budget so you won't have to miss out on Raised by Wolves, Strike Back, or Billions.
How much are DIRECTV's premium channels?
|HBO Max||$14.99/mo.||View Plans|
Which DIRECTV package is best for sports?
To put it simply, the more you can budget for your monthly satellite bill, the more sports channels you’ll get.
You’ll get a complete list of sports channels if you go as high as the ULTIMATE package (especially if you want to watch your O's, D-backs, or Yanks). You can also add MLB Extra Innings to any DIRECTV package.
DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT includes the following sports channels:
- FOX Sports 1 (FS1)
DIRECTV CHOICE includes the above sports channels and the following:
- ACC Network (ACCN)
- Big Ten Network
- MLB Network
- NBA TV
- NFL Network
- SEC Network
- Tennis Channel
DIRECTV ULTIMATE includes all the sports channels above and the following:
- CBS Sports Network
- NHL Network
- Olympic Channel
And DIRECTV's PREMIER plan includes ESPN College Extra and Outdoor Channel.
DIRECTV used to be it for football lovers with a free season of NFL Sunday Ticket. However, starting this fall in 2023, NFL Sunday Ticket has moved to YouTube TV.
We still think DIRECTV is a good choice for college sports fans. With DIRECTV's PREMIER plan, you'll get ESPN College Extra, a channel only available with DIRECTV and Verizon Fios TV.
DIRECTV offers the following add-on packages:
- Movies Extra pack: $4.99/mo. (first three months included)
- DOGTV: $4.99/mo. (first month included)
- AMC+: $6.99/mo.
- Outdoor Channel: $4.99/mo.
- Hallmark Movies Now: $5.99/mo. (or check out other ways to watch the Hallmark channels)
- Hvault: $4.99/mo.
- Lifetime Movie Club: $3.99/mo.
- A&E Crime Central: $4.99/mo.
- Pantaya: $5.99/mo.
- Revry: $6.99/mo.
You can also get DIRECTV packages for the following languages ($10.00–$37.99):
- Brazilian Portuguese
How much is DIRECTV's DVR?
We appreciate that DIRECTV includes your first DVR. And it’s got plenty of storage. The Genie DVR holds up to 200 HD hours, which falls behind the 500 hours of the DISH Hopper 3, but is still a lot more than other competitors.
How much storage does DIRECTV's Genie DVR have?
The Genie DVR is one of the best brand DVRs out there. You get 4K resolution, the ability to switch between games, and the ability to connect up to eight TVs wirelessly. You can record five programs at once with a single Genie DVR, and you can schedule it on your TV or online.
You can take your DVR recordings on-the-go with the DIRECTV app, too. So if you start your day with Good Morning America, you don’t have to stop once you get goin’ on your commute.
Recap: Is DIRECTV good?
We’re not gonna lie, DIRECTV’s second-year price increases are a huge bummer. Even though first-year pricing is reasonable, if you start adding multiple receivers and premium channels, it can get spendy real quick.
Beyond the price, though, you will get everything you want from DIRECTV. DIRECTV includes most of your favorite channels for you and your family to enjoy.
We recommend the ULTIMATE plan to get most of the sports channels DIRECTV offers, and PREMIER offers ESPN College Extra for college sports fans.
DIRECTV plans and pricing recap
- ENTERTAINMENT All-Included: $64.99/month, 165+ channels
- CHOICE All-Included: $84.99/month, 200+ channels
- ULTIMATE All-Included: $109.99/month, 270+ channels
- PREMIER All-Included: $154.99/month, 340+ channels
Still looking? Check out the top-ranked TV providers.
Wondering if DIRECTV is better than DISH? Check out our comparison.