DirecTV Offers Discount With Bold 'No Locals' TV Station Strategy

Making an eye-opening move to reduce legacy pay TV monthly consumer prices -- and to reduce seemingly nonstop cord-cutting -- DirecTV is offering a special $12-a-month discount to customers if they drop their local over-the-air TV stations.

“Consumers have been voting with their wallets for years that pay TV -- as currently constructed -- is too expensive and restricts their choices,” said Rob Thun, chief content officer of satellite/virtual pay TV company DirecTV, in a press release on Sunday.

Typical legacy pay TV packages from cable, satellite, virtual, and telco distributors can range anywhere from $60 to $90 or more a month. 

DirecTV says the new consumer plan, called “No Locals,” could mean a savings of $140 a year.

New and existing satellite customers can opt out of their local stations for as long as they want.



The company backs up its proposal, noting that nearly 80% of consumers -- according to an American Television Alliance survey -- want the ability to make major changes to their traditional home TV/video programming bundles.

DirecTV adds that consumers are looking for “more modular programming options” where they can more easily opt-in or -out of networks/platforms. 

Nearly all premium streaming platforms, for example -- including Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Peacock and Paramount+ among others -- allow easy access to do this via websites and streaming apps.

Amid higher prices and cord cutting, legacy pay TV providers also have struggled against national TV network-owned streamers -- which some analysts believe undercut cable, satellite, virtual and telco TV distributors in their efforts to maintain video business revenues.

Since 2015, national TV broadcast programming -- content airing on local TV station affiliates -- has declined 40% in viewership, per Nielsen data, according to DirecTV. The company is also concerned about network-based media companies shifting top TV show producers to their streaming platforms from the linear TV channels.

Looking to address this and other disruptive linear TV business transitions, Charter Communications -- which owns Spectrum, a cable/virtual pay TV business -- inked a groundbreaking deal in September 2023 allowing it to sell and/or bundle Walt Disney’s streaming services (Disney+ and ESPN+, as well as another future ESPN streamer) as part of a regular renegotiation deal to carry Disney linear TV networks.

1 comment about "DirecTV Offers Discount With Bold 'No Locals' TV Station Strategy".
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  1. Ben B from Retired, March 18, 2024 at 7:33 p.m.

    I think local TV stations should be included no matter what in my opinion. I wouldn't be surprised that the FCC will get into it saying that Pay-TV has to include the local TV stations in the basic package NAB isn't going to like either. If I had DiecTV I'd keep the locals I don't see the savings in my opinion.

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