The nation's direct broadcast satellite operators announced separate programming promotions designed to lure first-time subscribers to their small-dish services.
EchoStar's DISH Network said it is now offering new customers 118 basic channels, including Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, ESPN and Lifetime, with free professional installation for a $9 monthly fee, plus the purchase price of a receiver package.
DirecTV, meanwhile, said it will leverage its powerful NFL Sunday Ticket franchise for a fall national promotion and advertising campaign.
The company said it is offering over $300 worth of free programming, and a free professional installation performed by participating DirecTV retailers. DirecTV's deal, which runs through Oct. 14, gives new customers four free months of service when they sign up for the NFL Sunday Ticket at the regular season price of $179 — or four payments of $44.75 — and activate Total Choice Platinum and Family Pack monthly programming by Oct. 28.
DirecTV said it will advertise the offer in a five-week network and cable television campaign, reinforced with print ads in USA Today, Parade, USA Weekend and local newspapers in top markets.
EchoStar's promotion, called "I Like 9," requires new subscribers to purchase a receiver system for $199 or higher and subscribe to the America's Top 100 (English) or the DISH Latino Dos (Spanish) programming packages. Subscribers will pay $9 a month for programming for one year, reflecting a $21.99 savings per month compared to the regular $30.99 monthly fee.
Including free installation, customers will save a total of $462 the first year. The offer runs through Oct. 31.
The new promotion is also available with the DishPVR 501, a new combination personal video recorder and satellite TV receiver, with up to 35 hours program storage capacity.