You say costly sports channels should be available to those who want to pay for them, but DIRECTV doesn’t offer any other major sports channels or its ROOT Sports Networks on a stand-alone basis. Why should this situation be any different?

Offering sports networks with other news and entertainment channels worked fine when sports prices were far more stable and consistent. But the cost of games has continued to skyrocket. The price of basic TV has more than doubled in the past ten years, and sports are one of the primary reasons why. We need to keep the most loyal fans connected to their favorite teams without obligating others to pay higher and higher prices for games they don’t want. With ROOT Sports there’s no need for an a la carte option because our prices are reasonable. That’s our point—offer sports at a price that won’t drive up everybody’s bill, or just make it available to those fans who are willing and able to pay for it.

What teams are already doing this and can it happen to me?

It’s already happening in Los Angeles and Houston, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arizona and Texas. It’s occurring far more frequently and will only grow worse, as teams and conferences try to keep pace with their on-field competitors by chasing the biggest potential payday, no matter what it costs the fan.

If so many disputes involve local teams, why don’t you just make a deal with the NCAA, MLB, NBA, NFL or NHL instead?

Leagues and teams separate national games from local games. That means a local team can stonewall fans if they choose, and the league can’t do anything about it. That hurts the league, the community, and the entire sport.

How many of my local teams’ games will I be able to see during the season?

You’ll likely be able to see a handful, but far fewer than ever before. The NFL still has most of its games on broadcast television and major national sports networks, so home access to those games remains quite safe. But MLB and NBA teams that had many games on broadcast television, which everyone can access, have moved almost all of their games to pay television and regional sports networks, many of which they now own. It’s causing aggravation and resentment among both loyal and casual fans, and tells them their interest, not to mention financial support, is better spent elsewhere.

You say you are fighting to keep our bill low, but yet you raise prices every year?

This trend is happening across every major video provider, not just DIRECTV. In many cases, others are raising their subscriber rates by 10-15 percent per year to cover the rising costs from the same sports teams and network owners. We’ve raised our rates by an average of 3-4 percent over the past several years, which is less than any other major video provider, even though our actual programming costs have doubled that amount. But trying to keep costs low isn’t enough. We also believe we need to keep re-investing and innovating to provide you the very best sports television experience at the most reasonable price.

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