If you want to get into a remote-measuring contest, DIRECTV technically offers a higher top-package channel count than DISH, with the former boasting 330+ over the latter’s 290+, a difference of 40 channels and $20.
Part of that is due to DIRECTV being the exclusive satellite TV home to HBO and CINEMAX (surprise—all three are owned by AT&T), as well as some sports channels not carried by DISH.
As you’ll see in our channel lineup grid, any DISH package carries all of the must-have networks that the other service does, as well as a handful of exclusives. If you need your HBO—we know we do—there’s literally an app for that.
The rest is filler: If you don’t buy stuff through shopping networks (because, you know, internet) or listen to music channels on your TV (because Spotify, Pandora, etc.), you don’t need ‘em. Bloated channel counts don’t impress anymore; it’s all about skinnier packages these days.
Speaking of skinny: While we think the America’s Top 200 package offers great bang for your buck, DISH also offers a cheap, customizable alternative worth looking at called the Flex Pack. At $54.99 a month, the Flex Pack features a base of 50 popular channels that can be built upon with additional niche “packs” centered on sports, kids, news, and more.