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Find your groove with the music channels on Satellite TV

Last updated on January 17th, 2017 by George Levint

These days, the average music fan doesn’t really turn to their TV to enjoy their favorite tunes. It’s typically either iTunes on a handy device or a trusty home stereo system. Well, fact is, there’s a pretty nice (and growing) selection of music channels as part of your default DIRECTV and DISH programming. In most cases, they’re commercial-free and they’re ALL conveniently categorized by theme. So, for example, if it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, you’ll always be able to quickly find a 24-hr channel to keep you in the holiday mood (even with the in-laws in town :)). As no surprise, the scope of music channels offered by DIRECTV and DISH are just a bit different. In this article, we’ll quickly compare the two. So, if music is a big part of your entertainment and may help break the tie between the two, read on…

Note: we won’t be listing seasonal/holiday channels (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, etc.) as both providers offer a similar assortment of options. For each category below, a winner is named, primarily based on number of total music channels; if there’s no obvious difference, it’ll be declared a draw (subject to change as music programming evolves).

Music Provider
(the folks that deliver and update the music)

» 100% Commercial-free

– draw –

» 100% Commercial-free

– draw –
POP Music
6 total channels
Channel #s: 806, 816, 817, 818, 819, 821

’90s Hits, Today’s Hits, Y2K Hits, Hottest Hits, Love Songs, Adult Contemporary
13 total channels
Channel #s: 6002-6018

Top 40 Hits, Pop Music Discovery, ’40s Pop, ’50s Pop, ’60s Pop, ’70s Pop, ’80s Pop, ’90s Pop, 2000s Pop, Studio 54, Lite Pop Hits, Love Songs, Limited Engagement

✓ Advantage
Rock Music
6 total channels
Channel #s: 829-835, 837-841, 849

Hair Guitar, Full Metal Jacket, College Rock, Adult Alternative, Classic Rock, Alternative, Ink’d, Classic Hits, Reality Bites, New Wave, 8-Tracks, Spike, Soft Hits
24 total channels
Channel #s: 6019-6042

Elvis 24/7, Bruce Springsteen, Little Stevens Underground, Pearl Jam, Grateful Dead, Margaritaville, ’70/’80s Rock, ’60s/’70s Rock, Deep Classic, Adult Album, Jam Bands, Contemporary, Acoustic, Mellow, Classic Alternative, ’90s Grunge, Indie, New Alternative, Hard Rock, Classic Hard Rock, ’80s Hair Bands, Heavy Metal, Action Sports, Reggae

✓ Advantage
Hip-Hop/R&B Music
5 total channels
Channel #s: 824, 825, 842, 869, 874

Groove Lounge, Hot Jamz, Classic R&B, Bailamos, Salsa
24 total channels
Channel #s: 6044-6049

Hip-Hop Hits, Eminem, Old Skool Rap, R&B Hits, Adult R&B Hits, Classic Soul

✓ Advantage
Dance Music
6 total channels
Channel #s: 856, 858, 859, 860, 861, 862

New Age, Subterranean, Dance (general), Modern Workout, Pump!, Class Rock Workout

✓ Advantage
3 total channels
Channel #s: 6051-6053

Dance Hits, Progressive House, Smooth Electronic
Country Music
7 total channels
Channel #s: 808-814

Traditional Country, Hit Country, Red, Rock and Blues, Honky Tonk, Bluegrass, Folk, Modern Country

✓ Advantage
5 total channels
Channel #s: 6056-6061

Classic Country, ’90s Country, New Country, Rockin’ Country, Bluegrass
Christian Music
0 total channels
Channel #s: –

2 total channels
Channel #s: 6063-6064

Christian Pop and Rock, Gospel

✓ Advantage
Jazz/Standards Music
10 total channels
Channel #s: 801, 822, 823, 850-855

Big Band, Silver Screen, Showtunes, Classic Jazz, Smooth Jazz, General, Blend, Metro Blend, Blues, Great Standards

✓ Advantage
7 total channels
Channel #s: 6066-6072

Smooth Jazz, Classic Jazz, New Age, Beautiful Music, B.B. King’s Blues, Sinatra, Show Tunes

Classical Music
5 total channels
Channel #s: 864-868

Symphonic, Piano, Light Classical, Be-Tween, The Playground

✓ Advantage
3 total channels
Channel #s: 6074-6076

Opera, Classical Pops, Traditional Classical

Latin Music
10 total channels
Channel #s: 869-878

Bailamos!, Fiesta Tropical, Latin Hits, Music of the Americas, Regional Mexican, Salsa, Hurbano, Mariachi, Carnaval Brasileiro, Rock en Espanol

– draw –
10 total channels
Channel #s: 6090-6099

Tropical Latin, Contemporary, Spanish and English, Latin Urban, Regional Mexican, Latin Love Songs, Classic Ballads, Latin Jazz, Classic Salsa, Latin Rock

– draw –

DIRECTV also offers a nice little mix of Italian, Brazilian and Contemporary music channels. They account for less than 5 total channels, but if you’re looking for those specific themes, they’re a worthwhile bonus.

✓ Advantage

Other than holiday and seasonal, DISH (SIRUIS) doesn’t really carry any other bonus channels…though with their comprehensive coverage, most won’t need much more.

Total ValueScore
(relative, aggregate score for all categories)

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View the latest DISH Specials

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