DirecTV says its programming fees will rise sharply --
by nearly 10% this year. In that regard, it will be raising prices to consumers to help defray these costs.
In a message to its customers, the satellite TV program distributor says retail prices will climb 4.5% starting in February. DirecTV big package "Premier" will now carry a $124.99-a-month price tag. Its now named "Ultimate" package is $77.99; "Xtra" is $70.99; and "Choice" is $64.99.
There will be increases in pay TV, such as HBO, which will have a $2.00 hike. Some regional sports network fees will also climb $2.00, as well as higher monthly rates for its receiver/DVR equipment.
DirecTV says: "Each year the owners of television channels increase the programming fees they charge to DirecTV for the right to broadcast their movies, shows and sporting events to you. As a result, DirecTV must periodically adjust the pricing and channel lineups of our programming packages so we can continue to deliver these channels to you."
Both DirecTV and Dish Network have been involved in a number of contractual stalemates with major programmers recently resulting in temporary and long-term channel blackouts for consumers.
DirecTV competitor Dish Network will also see its retail prices climb starting next month -- from around 10% to 20%, with many monthly programming packages rising $5 per month.