DirecTV Stream recently increased its prices, and under the latest rates, the live TV streaming service is basically charging $1 per channel. The only problem is, consumers cannot pick and choose the channels they want, so they will inevitably end up paying plenty of dollars for plenty of channels they don’t actually want.
In January, the latest price increases hit DirecTV Stream, taking the cost of its cheapest plan up from $69.99 to $74.99 per month. This is the Entertainment package and unlocks access to more than 75 live TV channels. Even though the more than make clear it is more than 75 channels, it is still close enough to roughly work out to be $1 per channel.
The same can also be seen at the other end of the spectrum as well. For example, Premier is DirecTV Stream’s most expensive base plan and is priced at $154.99 per month. Sticking with the $1 per channel rough estimate, Premier unlocks access to 150+ channels, according to DirecTV Stream. With the Choice plan offering access to 105+ channels for $99.99 per month, the one real outlier here is the Ultimate plan.
In spite of being priced at $109.99 per month, Ultimate is advertised as coming with more than 140 channels. This would seem to suggest that Ultimate might be the best option for homes that are specifically interested in getting access to the most channels per dollar spent. For example, Premier only adds 10+ channels but costs $45 more each month.
In general, DirecTV Stream doesn’t stack up great when compared to the competition on a channel-per-dollar basis. For example, Hulu Live TV offers 85+ channels for $70 ($0.82 per channel), YouTube TV unlocks access to more than 100 channels for $65 per month ($0.65 per channel), fuboTV provides 146 channels for $75 per month ($0.51 per channel), Vidgo offers 110+ channels for $65 per month ($0.59 per channel), and Philo manages to provide subscribers with more than 70 channels for just $25 per month ($0.36 per channel).
In fact, Sling TV is the only service that technically works out worse. Sling TV offers two main plans for homes to choose from, and while both are priced at $40 per month, they do offer a different selection of channels. Sling Orange only unlocks access to 31 channels for the $40 while Sling Blue boosts the number of channels to 41. Even if signing up to the Sling Orange & Blue plan, the number of channels only increases to 47.
Considering the cost of the combined plan is $55 per month, that breaks down to around $1.18 per channel.
Of course, no one really should be considering signing up to a live TV package based on the number of channels alone. If the selection of channels doesn’t match the needs of a home, then it shouldn’t matter how many channels are available. The quality of the lineup should always be more important than the quantity.
Still, it is interesting to note how many channels per dollar are on offer, and another metric which can be used to distinguish between the various live TV services.