The Recap: DIRECTV Price Hikes, Amazon in Space, Mint Mobile in Trouble, and More




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It was another busy week in the world of cord cutting. Between another shutdown of an IPTV service to the umpteenth price cut from a TV provider, there was a lot going on. 

You can’t be blamed for missing out on some of the biggest headlines. That’s why The Recap exists, to sum up the top stories in the world of cord cutting this week. Some of these represent the most popular stories on the site, while others are just important developments that you need to be aware of. 

Without further ado, here’s what you need to know from this past week.

DIRECTV Price Hike

DIRECTV dropped the announcement on its site late Thursday, confirming that there would be price increases across the board at DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM and U-Verse. While it offered a breakdown of the former two services, it didn’t say much about U-Verse, only noting that the average increase would be $5. The increases will take effect on November 5, and is the second time they’ve raised prices this year.

Does the price increase have you thinking about alternatives? Here are a few.  

This comes just a month after Dish announced its own price hike, with the companies essentially playing “cut and paste” the statement by blaming distribution costs. It’s what led to the disputes between Nexstar and DIRECTV and Charter and Disney, and doesn’t look like a problem that’s going away. 

Unfortunately, it looks like consumers will continue to pay the price. 

Amazon in Space

On the satellite internet front, Amazon successfully saw the test satellites for its Project Kuiper service launch into space, courtesy of the Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance. It’s a milestone event for a company that is betting big on the future of space-based broadband. 

Amazon intends to offer broadband to homes in rural areas, as well as hospitals, big businesses and government agencies. But Amazon, and founder Jeff Bezos, is well behind Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Starlink, which already offers service around the world. 

But Bezos and Amazon getting into the space race only means more competition, which is good for consumers. 

IPTV Shutdown

The war on piracy continued this week when Greek police shut down an illegal IPTV service that ran for eight years and reportedly earned €25 million in profit and cost broadcasters €100 million in lost revenue. 

The raid reportedly led to the arrest of 10 men, as well as the seizure of a dozen cars and €100,000 in cash. 

It’s just the latest raid, with dozens of crackdowns having happened this year alone.

NAD Wags its Fingers at Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile got a lot of attention because of its spokesman and shareholder, Ryan Reynolds. But the Deadpool actor probably wouldn’t appreciate the National Advertising Division’s recommendation that the wireless reseller cease or modify its claim that the unlimited plan is “now just $15 a month.” 

The NAD, part of the Better Business Bureau, said the ad misled people into thinking that was the permanent price, which Mint disputes. 

It was just the most high-profile headline in prepaid this week, which included T-Mobile’s Metro and Verizon’s Visible feuding with actor Jason Alexander in the middle, or Straight Talk offering certain customers free subscriptions to Walmart+

Roku Gets Big Update

On Wednesday, Roku unveiled a new operating system, Roku OS 12.5, which adds features to make finding the shows you want and discovering new programs a lot easier. For instance, you’ll be able to follow your favorite team and quickly find out how to watch their games. 

The update will start rolling out to Roku TV and players in the coming weeks. 

Some Cable Channels Doomed?

The cable bundle may be truly unraveling, with one financial analyst speculating that more than 30 cable channels could be on the chopping block. These include BBC America, CNBC World, E!, MTV Live, truTV and more. 

Charter and Disney’s deal, which resulted in several Disney cable networks being dropped from the cable TV lineup, serves as a precedent. Down the line, other pay TV distributors could demand dropping less essential channels to reduce their distribution costs (see item #1), which would mean the death of several underperforming channels.

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