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The Great Debate: DISH Network vs. DirecTV

So, you’ve chosen to go with a satellite television provider. Now the question is: DISH Network or DirecTV? The companies offer remarkably similar programming packages, but there are some serious differences between the two. If you’re looking for specifics about what its like to be a subscriber to each service, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together this handy guide to give you a thorough rundown each service, and how they compare in terms of specialty content, hardware, and pricing.

Content

The programming packages DISH and DirecTV offer are very similar, but there are a few notable differences that will likely drive your decision in selecting one company over the other.
First, here’s what you’ll get by going with either:

  • More than 300 available channels (exact number ranges between packages)
  • 200 available high-definition channels
  • Three free months of HBO, STARZ, Cinemax, and Showtime.
  • Access to locally broadcast programming
  • 4K Ultra HD support

That’s quite a bit in common, but there are perks to choosing one over the other, depending on your viewing preferences.

One major difference between the services is the channel options included in their sports packages — specifically those outside the domain of Disney’s ESPN channel suite. The lion’s share of sports packages — including MLB Extra Innings, ESPN GamePlan, NBA League Pass, Fox Soccer Plus, NHL Center Ice, and MLS Direct Kick — are available on both. Both providers also include common pay TV options like Fox Sports and NFL Red Zone, the latter of which offers a commercial-free way to watch scoring plays from every NFL team that plays each Sunday.

More: HBO Go vs. HBO Now: Which is right for you?

When it comes to differences, DISH’s exclusive sports packages include Outdoor Sports and Racetrack television Network. DirecTV, however, has the monopoly on NFL Sunday Ticket, which includes every regular season NFL game, regardless of your market. That’s a pretty big point in favor of DirecTV. It’s worth noting, however, that each of these packages are supplemental add-ons to your base channel package, and costly ones at that.

Lastly, the languages each service supports varies quite a bit. DISH supports 29 different languages ranging from Spanish and Italian to Tagalog and Urdu. DirecTV offers a mere eight options, including Spanish, Brazilian, Korean, Chinese, Russian, Filipino, Vietnamese and South Asian.

DirecTV’s Support for NFL Sunday Ticket tilts the scales in DirecTV’s favor, here, albeit at an extra cost to your subscription. Unless you’ve got a specific language need that DISH covers, those looking for the most content will want to go with DirecTV.

Winner: DirecTV

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