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DIRECTV Review 2024: Compare Packages, Deals, and Prices

DIRECTV has a new two-year price guarantee to go with its excellent sports programming, but it’s still too expensive.

Best TV provider for sports

DIRECTV

Price: $69.99–$159.99/mo.

Channels: 75–150+

DVR: 200 or 450 hrs. included

Top packages Price Channel count Deals Details
Free premium channels

PREMIER™ All Included
$159.99/mo. 150+ $100–$200 VISA Reward Card; free or discounted premium channels View plan
Cheapest

ENTERTAINMENT™ All Included
$69.99/mo. 75+ $100–$200 VISA Reward Card; free or discounted premium channels View plan

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

5-day free trial: Tired of cable and satellite TV but not quite sure if you wanna cut the cord? DIRECTV STREAM is a good streaming alternative for folks who want the look and feel of old-school TV without the installation requirements, equipment fees, and other headaches that come with cable. And it comes with all the same channels and pricing as traditional DIRECTV.

Is DIRECTV good?

DIRECTV is a good satellite TV service with wide availability, 150+ channels, the fantastic Genie DVR, excellent new-customer deals, and a 64% overall customer-satisfaction rating. It also requires a 2-year contract and has high prices, hidden fees, and limited bundling options. DIRECTV also has far fewer channels (it had 330+ until early January 2024) now that the provider made its TV package pricing and channel lineups identical for DIRECTV Via Satellite (“regular” DIRECTV) and DIRECTV Via Internet (formerly DIRECTV STREAM).

That said, we recommend DIRECTV for rural folks with limited internet and TV options, or for sports fans who enjoy the many sports channels and sports-friendly DVR features.

  • 2-yr. price guarantee
  • Genie DVR (200 or 450 hrs. included)
  • Sweet new-customer deals
  • 2-yr. contract
  • Expensive
  • New skinnier channel lineups
  • Hidden fees
  • Limited bundling options

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DIRECTV promotions, deals, and more

DIRECTV always has deals for new customers—these are the current offers.

  • Gift cards: Sign up for DIRECTV & get up a VISA® Reward Card worth up to $200 ($100 for the ENTERTAINMENT package or $200 for CHOICE, ULTIMATE, or PREMIER).
  • Premium channel offers: New DIRECTV customers can get free or discounted premium channels, including: MaxTM (free for two months), CINEMAX® and/or STARZ® (50% off for three months), Paramount+ with SHOWTIME® ($6/mo. off for three months), and MGM+TM ($1 a month for 3 months).

Check out our guide to DIRECTV deals for a complete rundown of available discounts and promotions.

Pro tip: Unfortunately, one of DIRECTV’s most popular deals, a free season of NFL Sunday Ticket, is no longer available. NFL Sunday Ticket is now exclusively offered through YouTube TV.

DIRECTV packages and prices

Package Price* Channel count Details
ENTERTAINMENT All Included $69.99/mo. 75+ View plan
CHOICE™ All Included $84.99/mo. 105+ View plan
ULTIMATE All Included $114.99/mo. 140+ View plan
PREMIER™ All Included $159.99/mo. 150+ View plan

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*for 24 months plus taxes and fees w/ 24-mo. agmt.; AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. is extra and applies.

Until January 2023, DIRECTV pricing included the Genie DVR, and after the first year of the two-year contract, monthly payments jumped by up to 38%. That made the actual DIRECTV monthly payment, averaged over two years, pretty high.

Old DIRECTV pricing (averaged over two years)

  • ENTERTAINMENT: $84.00/mo.*
  • CHOICE: $96.00/mo.*
  • ULTIMATE: $118.00/mo.*
  • PREMIER: $171.00/mo.*

DIRECTV now offers a two-year price guarantee to better compete with DISH Network. The new packages cost about $8–$19 less than the old prices (using the two-year averages above), but DIRECTV now charges a $15-a-month Advanced Receiver Service Fee for all plans.

New DIRECTV pricing (including $15/mo. Advanced Receiver Service Fee)

  • ENTERTAINMENT: $84.99/mo. ($69.99/mo. base price, plus $15.00/mo. receiver fee)
  • CHOICE: $99.99/mo. ($84.99/mo. base price, plus $15.00/mo. receiver fee)
  • ULTIMATE: $129.99/mo. ($114.99/mo. base price, plus $15.00/mo. receiver fee)
  • PREMIER: $174.99/mo.($159.99/mo. base price, plus $15.00/mo. receiver fee)

With the Advanced Receiver Service Fee included, DIRECTV packages cost $1–$11 more than they did before. So DIRECTV sneaked one last little price hike into its newly (semi-)transparent pricing.

Pro tip: If you prefer to keep things simple, try streaming DIRECTV. DIRECTV STREAM packages are identical to standard DIRECTV packages with the same pricing and channels, but without contracts, dishes, or bulky receiver/DVRs.

DIRECTV vs. the competition

Provider Pricing Channels DVR Storage Simultaneous recordings Details
DIRECTV
Best for sports
$69.99–$159.99/mo. 75–150+ Up to 450 hrs. Up to 7 View plan
DISH
Editor’s choice, best for families
$84.99–$114.99/mo. 190–290+ 500 hrs. 16 View plan
Read DISH review
Spectrum
Cheapest
$64.99/mo. 150+ Varies 2–6 View plan
Read Spectrum review
Verizon Fios
Best value
$69.00–$129.00/mo. 60–425+ 50–200 hrs. 2–12 View plan
Read Verizon review
Xfinity
Excellent user experience
$20.00–$80.00/mo. 10–185+ 20 hrs. included (upgrades available) 6 View plan
Read Xfinity review
YouTube TV
Best live TV streaming
$72.99/mo. 100+ Unlimited 3 (streams) View plan
Read YouTube TV review
Max
Best on-demand TV streaming
$9.99–$19.99/mo. or $99.99–$199.99/yr. N/A N/A 3 (streams) View plan
Read Max review
Astound Broadband powered by RCN $53.37–$179.32/mo. 287–304+ 125–250 hrs. 2–6
Read Astound Broadband review
Optimum
$500 contract buyout
$35.00–$125.00/mo. 50–420+ 25–150 hrs. 15 View plan
Read Optimum review
Cox
Excellent DVR
$61.00–$146.00/mo. 75–250+ 250–1,000 hrs. 2–24
Read Cox review
Sparklight $42.00–$121.75/mo. 20–100+ 200 hrs. 6 View plan
Read Sparklight review
Xtream powered by Mediacom $29.99–$129.99/mo. 50–170+ 50–250 hrs. Unavailable View plan
Read Mediacom review

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

If you’re set on satellite TV, DIRECTV has only one direct (see what we did there?) competitor: DISH Network.

Learn more about TV providers and streaming services

If you’re cable- or streaming-curious, you’ve got way more options. For quick comparisons, we’ve included cable TV providers, the best live TV streaming service (YouTube TV), and the best on-demand streaming service (Max) in the table above. You can read more about these services in these guides:

DIRECTV vs. DISH Network

DIRECTV once had more channels (340+) than DISH Network (290+), but now that DIRECTV has made its packages identical to those of DIRECTV STREAM, it has 150+ live TV channels—about half as many as DISH. For the same price as DIRECTV’s old packages.

The good, and probably also bad, news is that you can still get many of the channels DIRECTV dropped from its packages in add-on channel packs for an additional fee. This, along with the package adjustments and the Genie’s $15 Advanced Receiver Fee, make it appear that DIRECTV’s aim isn’t transparency, simplicity, and keener competition with DISH—it’s squeezing more money out of us.

So DISH remains the better satellite TV provider with more channels along with better pricing, family-friendly content, parental controls, and DVR than DIRECTV. Now you can see why we call DISH the best overall TV provider and the best TV provider for families. For more details, read our helpful DISH vs. DIRECTV guide.

DIRECTV channels

DIRECTV had one of the beefiest channel lineups among traditional cable and satellite TV providers. The new lineups of 65–150+ channels feature all the popular channels, while the ones that have been set apart in add-on packs are mostly filler channels you might not want anyway.

As for sports channels, DIRECTV lost NFL Sunday Ticket to YouTube TV, but it still has plenty of regional sports networks (RSNs, up to $15.99 monthly) and enough available sports channels to brag about. It’s a shame, though, that these channels are in add-on packs. That means, in order to get the same fully loaded sports channel lineup DIRECTV offered before the package adjustments, sports fans will have to the monthly RSN fee and $14.99–$24.99 monthly for the sports add-ons.

Let’s look closer at the new DIRECTV channel lineups.

DIRECTV channel lineup

Package Included popular channels Details
ENTERTAINMENT ESPN, ESPN2, NBCSN, and FS1 View plan
CHOICE™ IFC, Nick Jr., OWN TV, Travel Channel, and UniMás View plan
ULTIMATE El Rey, STARZ ENCORE, and TMC View plan
PREMIER™ HBO, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME, and STARZ View plan

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Check out the full DIRECTV channel lineups for each DIRECTV package to see what you’re getting. The package comparisons break it all down for you.

DIRECTV’s ENTERTAINMENT package covers family-favorite channels like ABC, some popular cable channels, and bigger sports channels like ESPN—but no regional sports networks. The other three plans include the regional sports networks (RSNs) and the $15.99-a-month RSN fee.

Pro tip: DIRECTV doesn’t carry beIN Sports or the Pac-12 Network—but DISH does.

Still, DIRECTV’s channel lineups are well balanced, with PREMIER™ standing out as one of the few packages (from any TV provider) to include all the big premium channels. It’s a go-big-and-go-home situation—you can get everything you want and never have to leave your couch again.

So, if you have the cash for DIRECTV PREMIER, it’s pretty sweet to have a package that includes every channel DIRECTV carries—including Max, SHOWTIME, CINEMAX, and STARZ. MGM+ (formerly EPIX) doesn’t come with PREMIER, but it is available through DIRECTV as a premium add-on).

DIRECTV sports packages

Package Price Description Details
DIRECTV Sports Pack $14.99/mo. 40 out-of-market sports networks, including CBS Sports Network, 17 regional Bally Sports Networks, and ESPN College Extra View plan
FOX Soccer Plus $14.99/mo. Soccer matches from Liga MX, Major League Soccer, and CONCACAF Champions Cup, premium rugby matches from the National Rugby League and the Super Rugby League, and the Australian Rules Football League View plan
MLB Extra Innings $149.99/yr. Up to 90 out-of-market MLB games each week throughout the MLB regular season View plan
Read MLB Extra Innings review
NBA League Pass $24.99/mo. during season Around 40 out-of-market NBA games per week during the NBA regular season View plan
Read NBA League Pass review
NHL Center Ice $22.99/mo. during season Up to 40 out-of-market NHL games a week, plus NHL Network View plan
Read NHL Center Ice review

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Although DIRECTV no longer carries NFL SUNDAY TICKET, the provider still offers four other major sports add-on packages. Each package brings you out-of-market access to the top sports leagues in the US.

With both the NBA and the NHL now in season, NBA League Pass and NHL Center Ice  are important for megafans of basketball and hockey. After all, 40 out-of-market games per week from each league is a lot to miss out on.

DIRECTV also has 40 out-of-market sports networks (including CBS Sports Network, 17 regional Bally Sports Networks, and ESPN College Extra) for an additional $15.99 monthly. To learn more, read our guide to DIRECTV Sports Packages.

Now that you know the pros and cons of DIRECTV packages, let’s look at some of the internet options you can pair with DIRECTV.

DIRECTV bundles

DIRECTV no longer offers any internet bundles with AT&T Internet. You can still purchase a TV plan from DIRECTV while you checkout with your AT&T internet package, but the bills will be separate and there will be no bundling savings.

Centurylink does offer DIRECTV bundles—also with DSL and fiber connections—but if you have to choose between these two providers, AT&T Internet’s service is a bit faster.

Check out our full review of DIRECTV bundles for more information.

DIRECTV equipment, specs, and features

Now that DIRECTV charges the $15-a-month Advanced Receiver Service Fee for its Genie DVR, is it worth it? Yes and no. DISH Network charges only $10 monthly for its Hopper 3 DVR, which has 2.5x the storage and 3x the simultaneous recordings. Since price, storage, and simultaneous recordings are the most important DVR features, the Hopper already beats the Genie.

DIRECTV Genie vs. DIRECTV Hopper

DVR Price Storage Simultaneous recordings Video quality Built-in streaming apps Details
DIRECTV Genie $15.00/mo. Advanced Receiver Service Fee 200 hrs. 5 Up to 4K Max, Netflix, Pandora, and more View plan
Read DIRECTV Genie review
DIRECTV Genie 2 $15.00/mo. Advanced Receiver Service Fee (plus a $99 bridge fee due at signup) 450 hrs. 5 Up to 4K Max, Netflix, Pandora, and more View plan
Read DIRECTV Genie review
DISH Hopper 3 $10.00/mo. 500 hrs. 16 Up to 4K Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, and more View plan
Read DISH Hopper 3 review

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

That said, the DIRECTV Genie is still a powerful machine that comes in both wired (Genie) and wireless (Genie 2) versions. The wired Genie’s 200-hour HD storage capacity is enough for all eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries or about 80 NBA games, while the Genie 2 can store up to 450 HD hours—but it has an extra one-time $99 fee. You can also hook up more TVs with the Mini Genie ($7 more per TV monthly).

Check out our full Genie DVR review for everything else you want to know.

DIRECTV specs and features

To sum it up, here are some of the neatest things about DIRECTV:

  • Out-of-market sports with FOX Soccer Plus, NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, and MLB Extra Innings
  • 4K HDR programming on CHOICE packages and higher
  • Choice of wired or wireless Genie DVR with 200–450 hrs. of HD storage
  • Mobile streaming with the DIRECTV app (Google Play and App Store)
  • 72-hour rewind on select channels
  • Frequent specials and promotions

Is DIRECTV worth it?

We’re hot and cold on DIRECTV’s new prices, channel lineups, two-year price guarantee, and $15 Advanced Receiver Service Fee for the Genie DVR (while claiming it’s included in your plan). It’s fantastic that DIRECTV finally ditched its big, scary, non-transparent second-year rate hikes—but the new packages with old pricing, and old channels with new pricing, show DIRECTV remains an expensive, non-transparent service.

We still love the Genie, and DIRECTV’s perks remain impressive, but its value is slipping and we continue to recommend DISH, our Editor’s Choice pick for the best overall TV provider, over DIRECTV.

DIRECTV service FAQ

Is DIRECTV a good option?

DIRECTV (aka DIRECTV Via Satellite) is a good satellite TV service with 150+ channels, the fantastic Genie DVR, near 100% availability, and a 64% customer satisfaction rating—but it’s expensive, has hidden fees, and 180 fewer channels than last year since making its plans identical to those of DIRECTV STREAM (aka DIRECTV Via Internet). So we recommend DIRECTV only for:

  • People living in rural areas where satellite TV and internet is the best—and probably only—option. (DIRECTV Via Satellite)
  • Sports fans who don’t mind that DIRECTV no longer carries NFL Sunday Ticket. (either DIRECTV Via Satellite or DIRECTV via Internet).

What are the disadvantages of DIRECTV?

The disadvantages of DIRECTV include two-year contracts, high prices, hidden fees, lower channel counts than DISH, and no more NFL Sunday Ticket. General disadvantages of satellite TV services include weather interference and having to mount a satellite dish to your roof.

Are customers happy with DIRECTV?

In our annual TV Customer Satisfaction Survey for 2024, 64% of DIRECTV customers said they were either completely satisfied or very satisfied with the satellite TV provider. Read the survey to see how DIRECTV customers rated their provider on 19 other questions covering customer service, user experience, pricing, and more.

Are there DIRECTV streaming packages?

For DIRECTV streaming packages, you want to sign up for DIRECTV STREAM instead of standard DIRECTV. And don’t worry—as of January 8, 2024, DIRECTV STREAM packages have the same channels and pricing as DIRECTV packages but with no contracts or bulky equipment.

Is there a DIRECTV streaming service?

The DIRECTV streaming service you’re looking for is called DIRECTV STREAM (soon to be called DIRECTV Via Internet).

Does DIRECTV service my area?

DIRECTV service is available nationwide.

With the few exceptions of apartment buildings or houses without a south-facing mounting surface (for the satellite dish), you can get DIRECTV service from way down in the Bayou all the way up to the Northern Lights.

Can I install DIRECTV myself?

You can’t install DIRECTV yourself. DIRECTV will dispatch a technician to install your satellite dish and get your DIRECTV service up and running.

How can I watch DIRECTV on the go?

Your DIRECTV service includes on-the-go viewing with the DIRECTV app. You can download the DIRECTV app on the App Store or Google Play with your smartphone or tablet.

The app allows you to stream your DIRECTV live channels, on-demand content, and DVR recordings while away from home—but you need internet access. To watch offline, download recordings from your cloud DVR before leaving the house.

Heads up: DIRECTV has loads of positive reviews on the App Store, but Google Play users comment that a recent update ruined the app’s functionality. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for patches that fix the problem.

Does DIRECTV have a mobile app?

DIRECTV has a mobile app that allows you to watch live TV, on-demand programming, and DVR recordings anytime, anywhere. You can stream on five devices at once and choose from more than 45,000 movies and shows.

Does DIRECTV offer a discount for senior citizens?

DIRECTV does not currently offer any senior discounts.

What is the cheapest DIRECTV package?

DIRECTV’s cheapest offering is the ENTERTAINMENT package. At $69.99 a month for the first year, it gives you 75+ channels, including multiple ESPN and Disney channels, along with FX and IFC.

What is the best DIRECTV package?

If a diverse and hearty DIRECTV channel package is what you’re shopping for, the PREMIER plan ($159.99 a month) is the jackpot. The 340+ channels PREMIER delivers are a robust blend of local stations, sports and entertainment networks, and, of course, premium channels like CINEMAX, Max, SHOWTIME, and STARZ.

How does DISH compare to DIRECTV?

Like DIRECTV, DISH is a satellite TV provider. Both providers have two-year contracts and guarantee against price hikes during that period. DIRECTV has more channels and slightly better sports options than DISH, but DISH has the better DVR. And, despite recent DIRECTV pricing and policy changes, it’s closer in value to DISH Network—but still more expensive. For a deeper comparison, check out our DISH vs. DIRECTV guide.

Methodology

Our TV experts have spent hundreds of hours studying and analyzing DIRECTV’s plans and features. We hand-tested the service’s signal reliability and overall user experience while evaluating its different channel lineups and DVR capabilities. Additionally, we pulled data from our annual TV Customer Satisfaction Survey to see how DIRECTV ranked against competitors. Check out our How We Rank page to learn more about how CableTV.com approaches its reviews.

New approved residential customers, price incl. TV pkg & equip. fees for first TV. Add’l fees may apply to non-qualified customers. Early agmt termination fee applies ($20/mo.) & add’l fee(s) may apply if equip. not returned. Credit card req’d. Restr’s apply. $19.95 activation & equipment lease req’d for satellite customers. Equipment lease req’d for DIRECTV via Internet customers in some sales channels.

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