DIRECTV Delivers Increased Choice, Customization and Value to Millions of Satellite Customers

DIRECTV Delivers Increased Choice, Customization and Value to Millions of Satellite Customers

To give consumers more flexibility and control over the channels they watch and price they pay, DIRECTV is today launching a new feature that allows new and existing satellite customers to opt out of their local stations for as long as they want and receive a corresponding discount.

“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, DIRECTV chief content officer. “Our new ‘No Locals’ package enables customers to take an important step forward in culling out certain types of content they may no longer care to watch and better balance the price they are willing to pay.”

Nearly 80% of consumers say they are looking for greater choice and more modular programming options that allow them to opt in or out of the types of programming they’re willing to pay to have in their homes, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the American Television Alliance. In recent negotiations with leading broadcasters, DIRECTV has sought out new, more collaborative models to try to quell the number of local stations blackouts and curb the rising cost for cable, satellite, and streaming homes to retain their “free” over the air  stations.

Customers who want to access the programs that make up their local station lineups typically have several options available to them today, including national network and local station websites, subscription streaming services that are often cheaper than local station fees, and more powerful over-the-air digital broadcast antennas.

DIRECTV customers who opt out of receiving their local stations directly from DIRECTV will receive discounts of approximately $140 per year or $12 each month. Interested customers can take this new feature for a test drive starting today and use it to opt out of their usual local station access during non-peak programming months – like the summer – and then resume in the fall or whenever they choose.

Current DIRECTV satellite customers should call customer service (1-800-531-5000) if they care to switch their local package configuration. Prospective or new satellite customers can sign up for a DIRECTV account online and indicate whether they want local stations there. The aforementioned current customers will enjoy the same online management capabilities soon. Any pricing differences will be prorated based on whenever a change is initiated and appear as a discount on a customer’s bill by the next cycle.

National broadcast network content has suffered a more than 40% decline in viewership since 2015, according to Nielsen Media Research. The major studios that own the national broadcast networks keep shifting top series producers and most buzzed about scripted shows that had bolstered local stations’ primetime lineups over to their streaming services instead. That trend continues to diminish the quantity and quality of scripted entertainment on these same local stations, as the major broadcast networks’ collective share of Emmy nominations has plummeted 55% since 2014. In the most recent 75th Emmy Awards, for instance, the only broadcast network representation in any key series or acting categories was ABC’s Abbott Elementary, while ABC sibling FX on Hulu’s The Bear swept the top awards against an Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video,  Max, and Netflix-heavy field.