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DIRECTV vs DISH 2-Year Price Lock Comparison

Last updated on June 17th, 2020 by George Levint
Update: DIRECTV is no longer offering 2-year lock plans (DISH is ONLY doing 2-year plans). Savings below are for archival purposes only.

If you’re in the market for satellite TV, chances are you’ve run across the new 2-year price lock options from both DIRECTV and DISH. As with most home utilities, the devil’s in the details so in this article we’ll be reviewing the 2-year plans for the most popular packages and the yearly/total cost across the life of the contract. Each provider has a slightly different way of qualifying you for the 2-year option (which conveniently includes all DVR fees), so we’ll be standardizing contract terms and rates where needed.

First off, who qualifies

As with all recent promotional plans, the 2-year price lock option is only available to new customers. However, if you had either DIRECTV or DISH years back, there’s a chance you may still qualify (both providers tend to re-categorize customers as “new” if its been several years since you cancelled). Make sure you ask your customer service rep at the very start of your call so have all your options available from get-go.

With DISH, there are no other qualifying terms. However, only plans with the DISH Hopper are included in the program (America’s Top 120 plus and above). All DVR fees ARE included in the 2-year lock, so one less thing to worry about.

DIRECTV, which recently merged with AT&T, requires you bundle at least one AT&T service to qualify for the 2-year lock. Those options include AT&T Internet, Voice (home phone) or Wireless.

Can I still get the 1-year savings plan?

Yes. In all cases, the traditional, discounted 1-year plan is still available (where, in a 2-year contract, the first year is very heavily discounted and year 2 costs at least 50% more). With some plans, the 1-year option might save you a bit more in the first year (vs the 2-year lock), but you’ll save hundreds more after 24 months with the 2-year lock. Both plans come with a cancellation fee if you decide to end them early, so just be sure you’re committed to one or the other before signup.

What’s been the general feedback on the 2-year price lock plans?

In mid 2015, DISH was the first to launch the 2-year lock option. It was a fairly new concept in the TV consumer world, so no one was quite sure what to expect. It ended up being an almost instant hit and DIRECTV soon launched their own version. The common thread in the feedback we’ve received is it affords folks peace of mind. That is, it completely removes the uncertainty from your TV budget for 24 full months and lets you plan accordingly.

DIRECTV and DISH 2-year Lock Pricing

Check out the table below for a comparison of the 2-year cost across the more popular satellite TV plans. If/when new programming plans get upgraded to the 2-year option, we’ll add them here.

Note: all pricing below reflects a 2-room installation with DVR service (additional rooms tend to increase your costs similarly to the 1-year savings plan).

2-Year Pricing Plan
Low/mid-level Package
145+ channels
Savings vs 1 yr plan (after 24 mths): ~$410
America’s Top 120+
190+ channels
Savings vs 1 yr plan (after 24 mths): ~$480
Mid-level Package
175+ channels
Savings vs 1 yr plan (after 24 mths): ~$395
America’s Top 200
240+ channels
Savings vs 1 yr plan (after 24 mths): ~$420
Upper-level Package
240+ channels
Savings vs 1 yr plan (after 24 mths): ~$335
America’s Top 250
290+ channels
Savings vs 1 yr plan (after 24 mths): ~$300

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