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December 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

DirecTV has begun charging new customers an additional fee of about $3 a month to receive multiple regional sports channels as part of popular entertainment packages in some cities, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times reported today (Tuesday). A DirecTV spokesman told the Journal that the fee “is a way of recovering some, but not all, of the skyrocketing cost of sports in certain markets.” DirecTV has long complained about regional sports networks that agree to pay steep prices for games, then pass on the costs to cable and satellite operators, who, in turn, pass them on to consumers. In reporting on DirecTV’s new fee structure, the Times observed: “The move is significant because even though it is only for new DirecTV subscribers and only used in areas where there are multiple local sports channels, it could be seen as a first step toward selling sports channels separately.”