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Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by Redsleeves, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. Redsleeves

    Redsleeves New Member

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    Nov 18, 2016
    Sacramento, Ca
    I recently subscribed to Direct TV and noticed on my first bill a surcharge titled Regional Sports Fee for $4.93. Since I didn't sign up for any type of sports channels or packages I called and was told it was a mandatory charge wither I watched any sports or not. Is that true?
     
  2. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    Yes, it's because local Regional Sports channels cost differently based on which teams you get so they broke it out as a seperate line item. (i.e. for you that would be CSN California and CSN Bay Area). On cable that cost would just be part of your regular package where a lot more than just RSNs vary from system to system, while some others are also starting break it out as a seperate line item. Since DirecTV is national, they would either have to spread the cost out so everyone is paying, even if they're in an area without RSNs, or have the prices of Choice, Xtra, Ultimate and Premiere vary from zip code to zip code.

    The only way to get rid of it is to downgrade to a package without your local regional sports channels like Preferred Xtra, Entertainment or Select.
     
  3. DishCSR

    DishCSR Godfather

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    Some areas have an extra fee for their fox sports regional network (rsn) the channels in the 600 channel range, this fee is automatically added in those areas if you subscribe to choice or above.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk
     
  4. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    Sadly, Yes it is true. I also pay the fee and I don't even know what channels they are or who is supposed to be playing there.
    If I am correct, when an area has 4 local teams this pops up and adds the fee.
    There are some lower Packages that do not pay the fee if you wanted to drop down 1 or 2 packages worth of channels.
    Which package to you have ?
     
  5. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    It's not based on the number of teams, it's more of what each individual RSN charges and where you are when it comes to the inner and outer ring of coverage for the teams they have. Like Hawaii gets all of the California teams, but last I checked, they have the same fee as someone in LA who doesn't get the Bay Area and San Diego teams. Having multiple RSNs with different owners also impacts it too, compared to an area where the same owner owns both RSNs.
     
  6. Redsleeves

    Redsleeves New Member

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    Nov 18, 2016
    Sacramento, Ca
    Select. I called a rep and he said if I did drop down to a package without the fee I would lose the incentive I got for sighing up (fixed two year price). I'm stuck I guess.
     
  7. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    If you're in Select, you shouldn't have the fee at all. It's the lowest package you can get outside of a niche package like Family.
     
  8. Redsleeves

    Redsleeves New Member

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    Nov 18, 2016
    Sacramento, Ca
    I'm bad. After reading your comment I pulled out my bill, seems we signed up for CHOICE, not Select as I thought. If I change to something lower I lose my $44 off for two years.
     
  9. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, you're probably better off sticking to Choice. The other alternative that would let you keep the discount is an unadvertised package called Preferred Xtra, but it would be more than what you are paying now.
     
  10. Gloria_Chavez

    Gloria_Chavez Godfather

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    It's a sports tax. It's also the reason millions of Americans have decided to cancel their PayTv subscription.

    Glance at Disney. ESPN once accounted for 70% of Disney's market value. Today it's about 40%. and falling, due to the millions of households ESPN has lost.

    Ergen once said that 80% of his subscribers don't watch sports, but subsidize the 20% of his subscriber base that do.

    He's right.
     
  11. Gordon Shumway

    Gordon Shumway Member

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    I'm pretty sure when they broke that charge out because it varied by area, no one got a decrease in the package price they were paying.
     
  12. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    Yes, because the only channels that ever increase their rates are RSNs... Companies who don't own any RSNs like Discovery, CBS, Fuse Media, Scripps, Turner, Tribune, Crown Media, AMC Networks and Viacom never had a rate increase and were never involved in disputes...

    The RSN fee was introduced with the rate increase that year. The difference is people in Philly who don't get any RSNs, or Seattle who have no fee because the SuperSonics left and the Trailblazers channel isn't carried had less of an increase in their bill compared to NYC or LA. People in outer rings where the RSNs charge a lower rate also have a lower fee compared to those in the core of the market. (i.e. Portland, Maine gets the exact same teams as Boston, but have a much lower fee)

    On cable you are still paying for the RSNs, the difference is cable is regional and a lot more than just RSNs vary from system to system and it's reflected in the rate for your system. (i.e. some systems may have channels like Oxygen, CMT, GAC, GSN, MTV2, FXX, Fuse, Investigation Discovery and OWN in expanded basic, others may have those channels on the digital tier, some systems may not carry several niche channels like CNBC World, Bloomberg, CMT, GAC, BET, NBC Universo, Galavision, Daystar, TBN, EWTN and RFD because of lack of interest in the area the systems serve, etc) Plus with DirecTV there's 2 packages that still let you get the most popular and high rated channels without RSNs, along with a 3rd unadvertised package that's basically Ultimate minus most of the sports and premium movie channels, and the Family package which is just family friendly channels, locals and the P/I channels. On cable if you don't want RSNs you have to downgrade to a package that's nothing but locals and public access or if they offer it, a family or faith package where you lose a lot more than the RSNs.
     
  13. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    Are you being ironic? All channels that charge for carriage end up raising their rates (or at least try to).

    The difference on RSNs is the price. DIRECTV has decided to regionalise the price instead of averaging the costs across the country. They are not the first to split out a charge to make a point. They could have a non-optional locals fee if they wanted to make the point that local station carriage fees are overly expensive.
     
  14. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    Correct, only increases. That is why they broke it out.
     
  15. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    I am just curios what you call the hikes for fox cbs etc? The I am a free OTA channel hike just to screw you? Or how about USA and TNT... They all raise rates and are probably all watched by 20% (or a lot less really for non sports channels) of the people and as a total package some of them are as bad or even more expensive for the amount of original programming as any sports channel. Its not a sports tax anymore than there is a Warner or Viacom tax.

    I bet most average people would find they spend dollars per hour on viacom than they spend watching the sports channels...
     
  16. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    It is hard to calculate dollars per hour when one keeps getting a division by zero error. :)

    Because of NASCAR there are three sports channels I watch: FS1, FS2 and NBCSN. I only watch FS2 when something gets bumped to that channel. So I get to pay an "ESPN tax" (the most expensive per month fee for a non-premium channel) and get a division by zero error when attempting to calculate the cost. RSNs also go unwatched. The only way I can avoid a division by zero error is including the two/three channels I actually watch out of all the sports channels included on my bill.

    Perhaps we would need to pull the SNL Kagen numbers, total up all of the sports channels and total up all of the Viacom channels. At $1-$5+ it would not be hard for the sports channels to exceed the total of Viacom channels sold for well under $1 each.
     
  17. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    But do you ever watch anything in any Viacom channels? If not then why not call that a tax too. And realize that it's a bigger waste of your money than the sports channels because you at least watch a couple of those a few times a year.

    Your ROI is still better on an expensive channel you watch sometimes over a super cheap channel you never tune too. And that goes for any channel really. I'm just tired of people trying to call it a tax to make it sound worse than all the other 150 channels we pay for that we never watch... because I do t believe for a second those who never watch the sports channels watch even half the other channels regularly if at all... the average used to be something like 17 channels I think.
     
  18. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    I believe that anything that is a line item charge on your bill should have the ability to be removed.
    You can remove a receiver.
    You can remove / downgrade / upgrade a package.
    You can downgrade / upgrade the SD and HD options.
    If you do not have a Genie you can have whole home DVR or not.

    Why not the RSNs ?
     
  19. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Because the RSN fee is an equalizer fee rather than having different prices for say the ultimate package based on what city you are in.

    Personally I think they should rename it the local affiliate equalization fee so they can balance rsns and local stations costs.m together and be done with it.
     
  20. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member

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    I just saw an interesting news story regarding this subject. Charter/Time Warner is being sued over their sports fee in that it is misleading to advertise a package price and then add programming fees to it. Granted DirecTV has a better defense in that their pricing is national but if the plaintiffs win this suit that could set a precedent affecting DirecTV
     

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