DirecTV’s regional sports fees vary wildly, nonsensically, by ZIP code – Ars Technica


If you’re a DirecTV customer who is annoyed by your monthly “regional sports fee,” get ready to be even more agitated. Depending on what ZIP code you live in, you could pay anywhere from $0 to $7.29 a month (or $87.48 a year) to get the same exact sports networks and watch the same exact teams you watch now.

The news site Consumerist published an extensive report about this on Wednesday. DirecTV owner AT&T has not yet explained in much detail why it charges such different fees to customers who receive the same exact service. In the above image, courtesy of Consumerist, you can see DirecTV monthly fees in Arizona of $0, $2.47, $5.83, and $7.29.

AT&T’s website says the fees vary by ZIP code “due to contractual obligations requiring us to offer multiple sports networks in select ZIP Codes, or in rare instances, a single Regional Sports Network (RSN) that carries games from four or more teams. These local RSN(s) are included in most base packages, but some don’t include RSNs, and are therefore not subject to a fee.”

But DirecTV provides an online tool that allows you to check which regional sports networks and sports teams are available in each ZIP code. According to this online tool, every ZIP code in the above image gets the same network (FSN Arizona) and games played by the same teams (Arizona Coyotes, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Phoenix Suns).

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