How many channels in your package do you actually use?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Brian Hanasky, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Brian Hanasky

    Brian Hanasky Godfather

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    As the title suggests I am asking how many channels in your current package do you actually watch? I was curious so I printed my channel list from the Directv site. Between my wife and I we regularly watch 27 channels out of the "220+" advertised for the Xtra pack. If you add in the channels we occasionally use (some more than others) the list grows to a whopping 62 channels. Keep in mind that out of the 62 channels about 6 are the cartoon channels that my son occasionally watches although he spends the majority of his time on YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu.

    My daughter (17) told me to take the DVR out of her room over a year ago because she didn't use it.
    I have the Extra pack at the moment. I have this package because my wife wanted Logo and Lifetime Movie Network. Of course these channels were not in the Entertainment package I previously had.

    For visual aid I uploaded 2 pictures of the Directv Channel lineup for the Xtra package.

    Green highlighted channels are NEVER watched.

    Orange highlighted channels are OCCASIONALLY watched (some more than others)

    Channels with Black boxes around them are REGULARLY watched.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. dallasfan30m

    dallasfan30m Member

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    that answer is going to be all over the place, everyone is different, I think dish is offering a base package and then they let you chose certain channels to add

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  3. Brian Hanasky

    Brian Hanasky Godfather

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    Oh I would certainly expect it to vary wildly. I am curious though if replies average around the 30 - 60 channel range. I for one hate paying for stuff I don't use but at the moment cannot find a good enough option that gives me the channels I want with recording capability. Sling has most of the channels I would want (minus a few) but DVR isn't available yet. Playstation Vue has some channels I want (not as many as Sling) but has DVR. Directv Now has no DVR and from what I've seen ins't ready for prime time yet.

    If it weren't for NASCAR and College Football I could get by with Netlix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video. I also need to be able to DVR/record NASCAR as I can't stand to watch commercials and am not always home when the race is on.
     
  4. dallasfan30m

    dallasfan30m Member

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    ok you are referring to streaming services, I was talking about dishnetwork new channel base packages where you have more control over what you pay for, select a base package and then add channels you want

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  5. Brian Hanasky

    Brian Hanasky Godfather

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    No your Dish comment was a valid point. I referenced streaming options as they have no contract and tend to have more "normal" channels vs the filler that DISH, Directv, and I assume Comcast add to packages. It irks me that I have to jump 2 packages (Entertainment to Xtra) to gain 2 channels that I actually wanted for $20+ more a month. On top of it I gained a whole slew of channels that I never wanted and most people have never heard of.
     
  6. dallasfan30m

    dallasfan30m Member

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    I would look at dishnetwork base packages and see if you can add channels with it that you want,that may resolve your issues, outside of that directv is always going to have 3/4 of package filled with filler channels or channels you don't watch, this should be regulated better

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  7. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    My favorites list has 101 HD channels. HBO, Showtime and Starz are in my favorites list.

    My Series Manager has 43 Series. Many of them are on the same channel like NBC, CBS, ABC, etc.

    Most watched are NBC, CBS, ABC, CNBC, Golf channel, FS1, FOX, NBCSN, USA, TNT, and WGN.
    Less watched is TNN, BRAVO, SPIKE, SYFY, FX, AMC, FXX, BBCA, A&E, OVTV, NG, DSC, APL, NGWD, SCI, HALL, IFC, VH1.

    That is close to 30 excluding the Premium Channels.
     
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  8. inazsully

    inazsully Icon

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    Not counting locals I could easily get by with a dozen channels.
     
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  9. Brian Hanasky

    Brian Hanasky Godfather

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    My most watched means most watched between my wife and I. Big 4 networks first (could be replaced by Hulu and CBS All Access for $18). Discovery, History, FS1, NBCSN (NASCAR), A&E, AMC, SyFy, ID, Lifetime, LMN are big ones.
     
  10. James Long

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

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    It is not encouraging to count how few channels are actually viewed. But it is worthwhile to look at the content that one wants and see if a lower package would remove channels one does not watch without losing channels one watches.

    I also want NASCAR ... which means my minimum package must include FS1 and NBCSP (and locals). That usually adds enough other "package" channels that I get the other content I want.
     
  11. Brian Hanasky

    Brian Hanasky Godfather

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    Agreed it is a more negative perspective however when you pay for something that has lets say 220 pieces and only use 20% of those pieces you tend to think of the transaction in negative terms as you are paying for waste. My post was intended to point out the flaws in the current system used by Directv, Dish, Comcast, and other providers. They force the arbitrary bundle on you for X price but leave out certain channels and stick those in a higher priced package so you are forced to sign up for that one. In my case I had to jump 2 packages ($23 more a month) to get 2 channels. This isn't Directv's fault but an archaic business model that trickles down from the big media corporations (Disney, Viacom, etc.) who then force Directv and others to carry garbage channels to get access to the channels that people actually want. I understand that it is business and that's how business works. If I had been pushed to the point that $23 was going to break the bank I would have told the wife to read a book and not upgraded. It is certainly a perk not a necessity however as streaming becomes more common and more young people choose to NEVER sign up for cable/satellite the media/providers need to take notice.

    My 17-year-old is a perfect example. She will never have a house phone/landline when she moves out. She would never consider such as thing. She told me to take the DVR out of her room a couple of years ago noting that she never used it instead using Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube. I don't see her choosing to sing up for cable/satellite once she moves out.
     
  12. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    Just because you don't personally watch something doesn't mean it's garbage for DirecTV's 20 million other subscribers. (Heck, even on your own sheet, most of Viacom and Disney's lesser channels like TeenNick and Disney XD were highlighted orange, the only Disney owned channel you highlighted as never watch was the SEC Network while one of the Viacom channels you highlighted as never watch is BET, one of their most popular channels)

    I take it you never saw how these channels are priced for providers. The lesser sister channels are usually less than 25 cents each, most of them are under 10 cents each. But guess what, the ONLY reason why they're that cheap is because their operational costs are tied to their more popular stations. (Operational costs as in programming rights, office staff, to the people manning the control room and uplinks) Logo and Lifetime Movie Network are among those cheaper channels due to being tied to their main sister stations, but you won't be able to get them at that price without their flagship sister stations. (i.e. most of Logo's operations are tied to MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, most of LMN's operational costs are with A&E, Lifetime and History)

    Here's a list of the channels you highlighted as never watch that are added from jumping from Entertainment to Xtra:
    American Heroes Channel
    BBC World News
    CBS Sports Network
    CNBC World
    Centric
    Cooking Channel
    Destination America
    FM
    FYI,
    Fuse
    Fusion
    Golf Channel
    Great American Country
    GSN
    IFC
    MLB Network
    MTV Classic
    NBA TV
    NBC Universo
    NFL Network
    NHL Network
    Pop
    Science Channel
    SEC Network
    Sportsman
    Sprout
    Sundance
    TV One
    TVG
    Tennis Channel
    The Weather Channel
    UP
    WGN America

    Based on the list alone, I can tell you, you're in the minority if you never heard of most of those channels, most of them have decent ratings for their target audience and loyal followings. (And in some cases multiple people on this forum have named many of them as some of their "must haves")

    Here's channels that you highlighted on your own sheet as use regularly and use occasionally that are also added with the jump from Entertainment to Xtra:
    DIY
    Discovery Family
    Discovery Life
    ESPNEWS
    ESPNU
    Fox Sports 2
    Logo
    LMN
    NBCSN
    Nat Geo Wild
    Nicktoons
    OWN
    Oxygen
    Travel Channel

    A lot of the channels you highlghted as never watch like JLTV, Enlace, EWTN, TBN, Daystar, FreeSpeech, C-SPAN, NASA and others are P/I channels that are free channels satellite providers have to carry for a quota and are not charging you anything, others like Pursuit, INSP, MavTV and the shopping channels are pay to play channels that are paying DirecTV to be carried. Both sets of channels are in all packages, including the cheapest non-standard package you can get, Family. Others like Comedy.TV and Justice Central were added as part of a lawsuit settlement.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  13. James Long

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

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    That isn't a flaw ... it is a feature.

    Consumers have been complaining about tiers ever since they were introduced. Yet as long as the industry can get away with selling channels in bundles they will.
     
  14. Brian Hanasky

    Brian Hanasky Godfather

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    That's why people need make some noise and stop letting them get away with it.
     
  15. Brian Hanasky

    Brian Hanasky Godfather

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    Wow. Pick one word out of a paragraph "garbage" and jump on it. I get your point and maybe the word "garbage" was hyperbole but the point I make is the same. I disagree with the package plans. I use very few of my 220 channels and was curious what others think. I would assume that many people do not use 1/2 of the channels they pay for.
     
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  16. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    You assume stations would keep their current formats even though they would now have to fight for every viewer and no longer be able to charge advertisers the rate they can by just being in homes, or that providers will still offer all of these channels in an a-la-carte world. They'll just change their programming to target the widest audience possible. Take a look at what's the highest rated content on cable, it's not the shows that air on Logo or LMN or some of the other channels you listed as regularly use.

    If Logo can no longer rely on MTV, Nick and Comedy Central to pay for its operation costs and if LMN can no longer rely on A&E, History and Lifetime, they're not going to charge less than 10 cents to providers anymore. ESPN is $7 because everyone is paying for it to spread it out, the cost of their sports rights aren't going to down becuase they have less subscribers, the less people paying for ESPN, the higher they have to charge to cover their costs. Many of these rights deals also have minimum distribution clauses, so if channels like ESPN, FS1 and NBCSN dip below a certain threshold, MLB, NASCAR, NBA, NHL, MLS, NCAA and the NFL can start shopping around. i.e. FS1 would have lost their NASCAR deal if they didn't cave at the last minute and let the remaining providers like DirecTV and Time Warner Cable get the channel at the rate they were paying for Speed. Sports are considered DVR-proof by many advertisers, so channels like USA, CMT, AMC, FX and Discovery would jump at the chance to get some of those rights.

    Be careful what you ask for. Canada did it, and it backfired horribly, and that was with the guarenteed carriage cable stations have in Canada that they don't have here. Want to know what happened? Multiple niche channels changed their formats to be general entertainment channels, multiple other niche channels folded entirely, while one independent broadcaster that wasn't owned by one of the conglomerates like Corus, Rogers or Bell ended up shutting down all of their channels since they can no longer rely on being packaged with popular channels like YTV, Showcase and TSN. And now channels that were less than 50 cents for providers are now anywhere from $3 to $7 each for customers and they're paying more for less.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  17. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

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    This is one of the reasons why we moved to PSVue. We get most of the channels we were actually watching (all of our "absolute must haves"), cloud DVR, and went from $118 per month with DirecTV to $40 per month with PSVue. It is not a solution that works for everyone, but it is perfect for us. DirecTV is making an attempt with DirecTVNow but with the 2 simultaneous stream limit vs 5 for PSVue and the lack of cloud DVR functionality, they just aren't there yet.
     
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  18. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    The programs I watch cover 90 channels.
     
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  19. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    well sports do need to be moved to there own packs at least we can get HBO on it's own. Local RSN's may work the same way on there own / a little HBO like. Even let people take limited basic and add there own local rsn's.
     
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  20. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    You're comparing apples and oranges with HBO. Completely different products and right deals. Getting the rights to the movie library that's also owned by your parent company is completely different from getting the rights to multiple sports leagues that you don't have any controlling ownership in. The leagues aren't going to lower their price, so not only would the cost per-subscriber go up with less homes to make up the difference, they'd also lose advertising revenue from being in less homes which would jack up the rates even more.

    Like them or not, live sports aren't going away. It's the one thing the majority of fans watch live, so advertisers love it. There's a reason why there's a massive bidding war each time the rights are up for renewal both nationally and locally. (Heck, even Lifetime of all channels will be airing live sports this spring)

    The only way that would happen is if some law or regulation forces it on all providers at the same time, bans any sports from airing on non-sports channels, forces the leagues and their advertisers to comply with it, and regulates everything down to the salaries of the players to keep the prices in check. Otherwise that minimum distribution clause kicks in and the leagues can take their games to the non-sports channels that are in more homes than a fantasy a-la-carte ESPN, NBCSN and FS1. So you'll get your wish with no dedicated sports channels, but instead you'll have them scattered on networks that will air a lot more than just sports. NASCAR on CMT, Sunday Night Baseball on USA, MLS on Discovery, Monday Night Football on AMC, NHL on A&E, NCAA Football split between multiple networks, etc. And in turn, those channels will jack up their rates, so instead of dealing with a $7 ESPN, you'll have a bunch of non-sports channels that previously cost less than $2 for providers now charging $5+ each.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

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