NEW ORLEANS, LA – FEBRUARY 02: A general view of atmosphere during the GBK Celebrity Gift Lounge at DIRECTV’S Seventh Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl at DTV SuperFan Stadium at Mardi Gras World on February 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images For DirecTV)

Yesterday, we told you about DirecTV’s silly regional sports fees and how they can vary from zip code-to-zip code. The whole thing came to light when the Consumerist site did a full-scale investigation on how two zip codes in one city could pay different fees even though they have access to the same regional sports network.

Originally, DirecTV gave weak answers to the sites covering this story. Now, a spokesman has told FierceCable that the responses given on the online tool (now taken down) were wrong:

“The website has inaccurate information and we are looking into it. The website has been temporarily taken down until a fix is in place. We apologize for the inaccurate information.”

That online tool allowed subscribers to punch in zip codes to find out how much they were paying for regional sports fees. But the answers varied as numbers given were all over the place from $0 to $2.47 or $4.53, $5.83 to the extremely high $7.29.

Comcast and Charter Communications are being sued over their regional sports fees and now with DirecTV falling under scruntiny for its RSN and other add-on charges. And the U.S. Senate also called pay TV execs to testify as to why they’re adding these fees to the base packages.

The providers say they need to pass on the fees to keep up with the increasing programming costs from the networks, but lawsuits contend the fees have been implemented secretly and quietly thus raising prices despite promises to keep their rates flat during a one or two-year contract.

DirecTV is not the subject of a fees lawsuit right now, but as more attention is paid to the fine print of the bills, hopefully the pay TV providers will realize they can’t sneak these surcharges past consumers.

For now, DirecTV has attempted to explain its varying regional sports fees and perhaps down the line, the increased scrutiny will lead to eliminating it altogether.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.