DIRECTV Offering Former Sunday Ticket Subscribers Special Deals to Help Lower Churn
DIRECTV likely has complicated feelings about the departure of NFL Sunday Ticket after nearly three decades. The popular, but expensive out-of-market games package was costing the company millions of dollars per year, as it simply couldn’t attract enough users to meet the high rights fees. However, when you factor in the attention and year-long subscriptions, it might have been enough to keep the operation worthwhile.
Despite the trouble it had in bringing new users to Sunday Ticket, it appears that DIRECTV is concerned with losing users who subscribed to the satellite company primarily to gain access to the package. Many subscribers report getting emails from the company with special offers to keep them engaged, now that Sunday Ticket has officially moved to YouTube TV.
According to LightShed analyst Walter Piecyk, one such offer is a credit of $20 per month off a user’s bill if they had previously been signed up for Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV.
The attempt to mitigate churn from NFL fans has begun at DirecTV. It might take more than $20/month. pic.twitter.com/ESmmNAOSiM— Walter Piecyk (@WaltLightShed) February 28, 2023
Other fans report receiving offers for free viewing windows of MLB Extra Innings, which allows fans to watch out-of-market MLB games via their TV service instead of digitally on MLB.TV. Different users are receiving different offers, as some have been given the opportunity to get the Sports Pack add-on, which offers 40-plus out-of-market sports channels at a normal cost of $13.99 per month, for free.
These offers represent a bit of a gamble on DIRECTV’s part. The company must hope that fans are still invested enough in other major sports that they’ll find the offers appealing enough to stay. Now that NFL Sunday Ticket has departed, it remains to be seen whether the cabler’s other offerings will be enough of a draw to keep users from cutting the cord.
Cable and satellite providers like DIRECTV certainly have competition in trying to keep sports fans engaged. Over-the-top (OTT) streaming services will collectively spend more than $8 billion on sports rights in 2023, and 52% of American households no longer have pay TV at all. Simply put, there are more places to watch sports than ever, and fewer consumers are using pay TV as their source.
DIRECTV might want to step up its offers if it’s serious about reducing churn. A recent report from TiVo suggests that over 28% of pay-TV customers are considering cutting the cord in the next year, and the NFL is one of the biggest draws on TV, period. Without Sunday Ticket, DIRECTV is just another pay-TV provider in the eyes of many sports fans, and users who were signed up specifically for the NFL package will likely need more of an incentive to stay than saving $20 per month off a $65-plus bill.
DIRECTV STREAM is a live TV streaming service, which is essentially the streaming version of the DIRECTV service. All plans include local channels and at least 34 of the top 35 cable channels. New subscribers can get a free Gemini streaming device from the company, in which case the service is called “DIRECTV via Internet.”
DIRECTV STREAM starts at $74.99 / month for their Entertainment Plan. You can upgrade to their Choice Plan, which begins at $99.99 / month, that includes your local RSN and HBO Max for three months. They also have an Ultimate ($109.99) for 130 channels and Premier ($154.99) for 140 channels. In addition to not having a contract, there are no extra RSN fees or Broadcast TV fee.
The service includes an Unlimited DVR on all plans and unlimited simultaneous at-home streams.
The service was previously called AT&T TV.