The two cable MSOs have rolled out ad campaigns/promotions targeting DirecTV’s DBS service and its DirecTV Now online video service.
New Charter, Altice Ads Target DirecTV
(Satellite Business News) — Two of the nation’s largest cable companies have launched new advertising campaigns aimed at both AT&T’s DirecTV DBS service and its DirecTV Now online video service.
One of the ads is from Altice, the Netherlands-based company that has purchased several U.S. cable companies, most notably Cablevision. Altice has started running a TV spot which apparently tries to play off the recent bad publicity DirecTV has garnered over complaints it does not live up to is promotional prices and insufficiently discloses to new subscribers their rates will to go during the second year of a two-year commitment — as well the advertising campaigns DirecTV typically runs in the summer time to sell its NFL Sunday Ticket football package.
The Altice campaign employs the tag line “Don’t Be Football Poor” and targets DirecTV subscribers who buy not only a two-year contract but also the Sunday Ticket package. An Altice website set up for the campaign says the company will “give [those who switch to cable] up to $250 to cover [their] early termination fees” from “select providers,” so it is not clear if Dish Network is also included in the promotion.
The ad shows a football fan who installed DirecTV at his home. The voiceover then states: “He got DirecTV because of the football package. Sadly, just a few months into his two-year contract, his [DirecTV] rates are skyrocketing. So, he had to find other ways to pay for his DirecTV.”
The ad then shows the DirecTV subscriber mopping the floors of a public restroom, selling items at a pawn shop, volunteering to be medical test subject, and fighting in a bare knuckle boxing match. He then sits down to watch DirecTV with a black-eye, only for the screen, complete with a DirecTV logo, to display the message, “complete signal loss.”
The voiceover then states, “Don’t be football poor” and urges the viewer to switch to cable. The website states the cost for the cable TV, Internet, and phone service for the first year will be $69.99 and in the “second year, [the] price will only go up by $10 a month.” For an additional $8.95 per month, those customers can add The NFL Network and The NFL Red Zone channels.
Those prices, the fine print on the website indicates, do not include various taxes and fees, and “a [monthly] sports TV surcharge of $4.97 and a broadcast TV surcharge of $3.99” per month. And, the website notes, though there are no “long-term contacts, and no early termination fees” with the offer, Altice will begin billing services at a “reg[ular] rate” after the first two years.
The other ad is from Charter, the nation’s second largest cable company, and is part of a series in which “evil” characters are shown in spots saying bad things about satellite TV and other services. The newest commercial focuses on the “DirecTV Now” online service, and shows the characters playing cards.
When one asks another to pause the programming on the TV, another answers, “It’s DirecTV Now. There’s no [digital recording service]. I can’t pause it, can’t rewind it — and before you ask, there’s no Showtime, NFL Network, Red Zone [channel and], CBS.” The other character then responds: “That’s evil, that’s evil.” The voice-over announcer then states: “TV that’s missing stuff is evil. [Cable] has it all.” The ad ends with a full-screen graphic: “DirecTV bad. [Cable] good.”
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