How does DIRECTV compare to Spectrum TV?

DIRECTV and Spectrum TV are two of the most popular pay television service providers in the U.S. today. While Spectrum TV is known for its low base price, DIRECTV offers a bigger channel lineup and tends to cost a bit more. While the price you pay varies based on the number of channels you chose, each provider offers a range of packages. Additionally, both companies provide internet bundles, so you can select a single company for two essential home services.

We’ve done the research to help you compare both TV service providers and determine whether DIRECTV or Spectrum is the best fit for your needs.

Who DIRECTV and Spectrum TV are for

If you are someone who wants television service without a big price tag, Spectrum TV offers a basic package that costs less than DIRECTV — but price is only one consideration. When you subscribe to a television service, availability and variety are just as important, as well as the ability to bundle.

If you want to watch what’s on every channel or you are someone who wants to combine other services, you may be happier with DIRECTV. While Spectrum TV does offer packages with hundreds of channels and the option to bundle internet without a contract, DIRECTV offers AT&T internet service, which some people may prefer especially if they are currently AT&T subscribers.

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Key considerations

The least expensive Spectrum package starts at $44.99/month for 125 channels, while the base DIRECTV package is $69.99 for 150 channels. At the high end, DIRECTV’s Premier package is $124.99/month for 325+ channels, with Spectrum TV topping out at $104.99/month for 200+ channels.

While cost and channel availability are important considerations, there are other things to know before choosing a television service provider. Before you choose, let’s review what DIRECTV and Spectrum TV have to offer.


  • Available in all 50 states
  • Plans start at $64.99/month
  • The number of channels varies between 150 and 325+
  • A two-year contract is required

Spectrum TV

  • Available in 46 states
  • Plans start at $44.99/month
  • The number of channels varies between 125 and 200+
  • You can record up to two shows at the same time
  • Internet bundles are available
  • There is no need for a contract

When choosing between Spectrum TV vs. DIRECTV, you may also want to consider special offers and add-ons, including the following:

Premium subscriptions 

HBO®, Cinemax®, STARZ/ENCORE®, and SHOWTIME® are available as add-on channels for both DIRECTV and Spectrum TV. DIRECTV’s premium channels are included for the first three months at no additional charge, while Spectrum does not currently offer that same benefit.

Sports packages

Spectrum TV has fewer sports channels and bundles than DIRECTV. DIRECTV offers the popular NFL SUNDAY TICKET, an exclusive sports bundle that includes “every live, out-of-market game, every Sunday.”

International channels 

DIRECTV and Spectrum TV both offer basic Spanish packages. Although, DIRECTV has a more extensive selection of Spanish bundles and foreign networks from all around the world.

Also, both DIRECTV and Spectrum TV offer internet deals and bundles. If you opt for Spectrum TV bundled with Spectrum internet, you could save $10/month.

Many DIRECTV bundles feature AT&T’s internet service. However, DIRECTV uses a variety of internet service providers — including CenturyLink, HughesNet, Frontier, Verizon and others — in locations where AT&T Internet is not available. 

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What others say about DIRECTV and Spectrum TV

What are others saying about DIRECTV and Spectrum TV?

DIRECTV reviews

DIRECTV scored 731 on a 1,000-point scale in the 2021 U.S. Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study by JD Power, ranking as the second TV service in the nation.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) gave DIRECTV a score of 66 on a 100-point scale, which was slightly higher than the industry average for subscription TV providers.

Spectrum reviews

The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Spectrum TV at 64 out of 100, which was average for TV providers and a five-point improvement from the previous year.

JD Power also included Spectrum TV in the 2021 U.S. Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study. The company rated Spectrum at 702 on a 1,000-point scale.

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How do DIRECTV and Spectrum TV plans compare?

Reviewing current plans and packages can help you know whether Spectrum TV or DIRECTV is the right option for you:

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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our TV service page. Prices as of 1/28/22.

Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.

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