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Type Founded Headquarters Key people

Subsidiary of The DirecTV Group Friday, June 17, 1994 El Segundo, CA, USA John Malone, Chairman Chase Carey, President & CEO Telecommunication Direct broadcast satellite US$17.25 billion (year ending 31 December 2007)[1] US$ 2.49 billion (year ending 31 December 2007)[1] US$ 1.45 billion (year ending 31 December 2007)[1] 12,000 (year ending 31 December 2007)[1]

Industry Products Revenue Operating income Net income Employees Website

A standard DirecTV satellite dish with 2 LNB on a roof

General information
DirecTV provides television and audio services to subscribers through satellite transmissions. Services include the equivalent of many local television stations, broadcast television networks, subscription television services, satellite radio services, and private video services. Subscribers have access to dozens or hundreds of channels, so its competitors are cable television service and other satellite-based services.[3] Most subscribers use reception antennas which are much smaller than the first generation services, which used antennas a few yards (meters) across. The small antenna size is a characteristic of direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service, which uses more powerful satellite transmissions than previous satellites could produce. Receiving equipment includes a satellite dish, an integrated receiver/ decoder and a DirecTV access card, which is necessary to operate the receiver/decoder.[4] Consumers who purchased DirecTV equipment subscribe to various packages of DirecTV programming for which the subscriber

DirecTV is a direct broadcast satellite service based in El Segundo, California, which transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, the Caribbean, and parts of Latin America. Its primary competitors are Dish Network and cable providers. DirecTV currently has 18.08 million subscribers.[2] The service was launched in June 1994 and is now owned by The DirecTV Group, which is controlled by Liberty Media. DirecTV has its own network called The 101 Network, available only to DirecTV subscribers in the United States.


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pays a monthly fee. A subscriber also can order pay-per-view events and movies. DirecTV contracts with and pays program providers such as cable networks, motion picture distributors, sports leagues, event promoters, and other programming rights holders, for the right to distribute their programming to its subscribers. All programming distributed by DirecTV is delivered to its broadcast centers in Castle Rock, Colorado, and Los Angeles, California, where it is then digitized and compressed. The resulting signal is encrypted, or electronically scrambled, by DirecTV to prevent its unauthorized reception. DirecTV then transmits these signals to several satellites located in stationary orbit approximately 22,300 miles above the equator.[4] As of 31 December 2006, DirecTV had approximately 16 million customers in the U.S., 1.4 million in Latin America through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, 1.3 million through its 74% ownership of Sky Brasil Servicos Ltda., and 1.4 million though its 41% ownership of Innova, S. de R.L. de C.V. of Mexico.[5] 2006 revenues were US$14.76 billion.[5] In addition to serving consumers, DirecTV offers service to bars, restaurants, hotels, dorms, and hospitals through their DirecTV for business service. The company also offered mobile service for cars, boats, and RVs (DirecTV Mobile) as well as aircraft (DirecTV Airborne) in cooperation with Connexion by Boeing.

channels) $60.99 It has three spin-off packages: • Plus DVR • Plus HD DVR • Premier - 300+ Channels (Everything in "Choice Xtra" plus all four premium movie packages and a sports network collection called "Sports Pack") DirecTV has an exclusive channel it calls "The 101 Network" which airs many concerts, reality shows and original programming.[6]


• • • • • •

Arabic Brazilian Chinese Filipino Greek Italian

• • • • • •

Korean Polish Russian South Asian Vietnamese

Stanley S. Hubbard founded United States Satellite Broadcasting (USSB) and was a leading proponent for the development of direct broadcast satellite service (DBS) in the United States. USSB was awarded 5 frequencies at the coveted 101 degree west satellite location by the FCC. Hughes Communications, a unit of GM Hughes Electronics, a remnant of Howard Hughes’s company, was also awarded 27 frequencies at the same 101 degree location. After waiting many years, the technology evolved to enable the building of very high power satellites and digital compression (MPEG 2) standards were developed that allowed multiple digital television channels to be sent through each satellite frequency. After Hughes failed to complete a joint venture to launch the first

Number of U.S. subscribers by year

• Basic - 30+ Channels (Starter package identical to most "limited basic" cable packages) Not Widely Advertised Must have international programing. • Family - 50+ Channels (Everything in "Basic" plus a selection of low-priced, family-friendly channels) • Preferred Choice - 120+ Channels (Local channels and a great variety of the most popular basic cable channels) Not Widely Advertised (Must purchase international package to get this service) • Choice - 150+ Channels (Everything in "Preferred Choice" plus regional sports networks and an expanded variety of basic cable channels) • Choice Xtra - 200+ Channels (Everything in "Choice" plus many digital cable


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Year 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 high power digital television service called Sky Cable, the company created DIRECTV and secured an agreement with USSB to build and launch the first high power DBS satellite system. Hughes/ DIRECTV then turned to Thomson Consumer Electronics (under the RCA brand) to develop the digital satellite system for the service that would be capable of receiving 175 channels on a small 18-inch dish. These dishes utilized a new generation of smaller, lighter receiver dishes based on military technology introduced by the Global Broadcast System (GBS), which predated DirecTV’s viability by almost 10 years. Hughes was awarded the contract to build and launch the new high powered satellites and USSB and DIRECTV agreed that the new satellites would carry the two separate Subscribers 320,000 1,200,000 2,300,000 3,301,000 4,458,000 6,679,000 9,554,000 10,218,000 11,181,000 12,290,000 13,000,000 15,000,000 15,950,000 16,830,000 17,620,000 18,008,000 programming services: USSB and DirecTV.


An alternate, 2-D version of the current DIRECTV logo, first introduced in 2005 as an update to the original 1994 logo. In 1994, the USSB and DirecTV programming services were launched. Digital Equipment Corporation provided the hardware for DIRECTV, Matrix Marketing (part of Cincinnati Bell) provided customer care, and DBS Systems created the billing software, and is still the provider (as Amdocs) to this day.


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In 1998, DirecTV acquired USSB for $1.3 billion. In 1999, DirecTV acquired PrimeStar for $1.83 billion. In 2000, DirecTV abandoned the Japanese market. In 2002, DirecTV was the Mexican licensed broadcaster for the 2002 FIFA World Cup In 2003, a merger with EchoStar, owner of Dish Network, fell through. On December 22, 2003, General Motors sold controlling interest in Hughes Electronics to News Corporation, forming the DirecTV Group. Certain conditions exist, however, is that News Corp must solve disputes with companies that carry its broadcast and cable channels. The corporation must treat all stations equally, not tilt in favor of the Fox Network and FX.[8] The arbitration was to alleviate concerns that Fox would pull its network programming, which includes professional baseball and football, off cable systems to encourage viewers to subscribe to DirecTV. News Corp. agreed not to pull either the network programming or its regional sports networks while a dispute was being arbitrated. In November 2006, News Corporation announced its intention to transfer its managing interest in The DirecTV Group to John Malone’s Liberty Media; in return it bought back Liberty’s shares in News Corp., giving the Murdoch family tighter control of the latter firm.[9] On February 29, 2008, after receiving FCC approval, Liberty completes its acquisition of News Corporation’s shares of DirecTV. Liberty was required by the FCC to sell its shares in either DirecTV’s Puerto Rican operations or Liberty’s cable provider in the island. In 2004, DirecTV abandoned the Mexican market, though it maintains 41% ownership of Sky Mexico.[5] On November 15, 2005, DirecTV stopped carrying Music Choice audio-only channels, replacing it with 73 channels of XM Satellite Radio. • In 2007, DirecTV abandons the Brazilian market (the customers being migrated to the 74% DTV-owned Brazilian affiliate of SKY Latin America).[5] • On January 9, 2007, DirecTV announced[10] that they would introduce up to 100 national HD channels during 2007, all of which would be MPEG-4 encoded. • As of June 30, 2007, DirecTV had 16.32 million subscribers. • On September 26, 2007, DirecTV launched their HDTV services at 6:00 AM EDT with 21 new channels. More will be launched in October through the end of the year. • On October 15, 2007, DirecTV announces that they now have 70 national high-definition channels available, with



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up to 100 coming by year end. • On December 13, 2007, DirecTV is reported to buy out ReplayTV. • On October 3, 2008, DirecTV announced that it will offer HD local channels in 121 markets by yearend.[11] • On May 4, 2009, DirecTV said it would become a part of Liberty’s entertainment unit, part of which would then be spun off as a separate company called DirecTV. Liberty would increase its share of DirecTV from 48 to 54 percent.[12]

systems. DTV is now installing a dish that has five LNBs for HDTV programming and local channels in selected markets. These systems receive signals from up to five separate satellites in both the Ku-band and Ka-band. After the new satellite, DirecTV 11, is fully operational DirecTV will stop supplying Dual, Triple, and 5-LNB dishes to all customers and move to Supplying a three-LNB Ka/Ku dish known as the Slimline3. This dish will see orbital locations 99, 101, and 103 Degrees West. The Slimline3 will be the new standard install dish (for HD and SD programming), while the five-LNB Slimline will be used for installs in areas that receive local or international programming form orbital locations 110 or 119. The Slimline3 looks nearly identical to its predecessor, aside from a smaller LNB. The new DirecTV HD channels require an H20/HR20 or H21/HR21/HR22/HR23 set top box (STB). In order to receive the new HD channels (channels added after September 2007), all HD receivers except the HR23 must have a B-Band converter installed. If the converter is not installed, viewers can only receive older HD channels (channels 70-99). The "HR" moniker designates the receiver as a HD digital video recorder (DVR) model. Only the H20/HR20 support direct reception of over-the-air ATSC broadcasts. The H21/HR21/HR22/HR23 receivers do not have a built in ATSC tuner, but the AM21 external tuner is available. In addition, there is HDMI support for HDTVs with an HDMI port. New STBs also support MPEG-4 standard for HD *Programming. DirecTV also offers the AM21 (an ATSC add-on for the HR21), the HR21-Pro (a HD-DVR with 100 hours HD or 400 hours SD recording capacity), and an online DVR scheduler. • is a common standard-definition model. D12 was the last one produced, as this type of receiver is being slowly phased out, according to DirecTV’s February 28, 2008 Investors Info. • is a receiver which can receive an HD signal and broadcast in 1080i resolution. H23 is the newest, but lacks an ATSC tuner as the H20s had. • is a standard receiver with a built-in digital video recorder. It can store up to 100 hours of programming. R16-300 is the last of these line of receivers; they are being slowly phased out, according to

This page may be more technical than it needs to be. Please help improve the page by making the article accessible to the widest possible audience. In the past, receivers were manufactured by DirecTV and other companies. Other companies’ DirecTV receivers have been phased out and DirecTV now designs their own models with companies such as Pace Micro Technology of Britain, LG of Korea, and Thomson of France. DirecTV is going to a whole home DVR by 2010 which will be the only receiver distributed (once the other models run out) besides a standard HD non-DVR model. DirecTV and TiVo announced on September 3, 2008, that they will work together to develop a version of the TiVo service for DirecTV’s broadband-enabled HD DVR platform. TiVo will develop the new HD DVR for an expected launch in the second half of 2009.[13] DirecTV typically uses a fixed 18-inch diameter dish antenna to receive its signals. Traditionally an 18×24-inch elliptical was used; however, most new installations use an 18x20-inch antenna to receive signals from three geostationary satellite positions simultaneously. These systems are becoming more common as DirecTV attempts to squeeze more programming onto their growing


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DirecTV’s February 28, 2008 Investors Info. The R22 is a "watered down" HR21 as it can receive MPEG4 and has all the features of the HD DVR, including HD output. however the unit is locked to output standard definition only. • , the most advanced everyday-consumer receiver in the lineup, which also are capable of 1080p Blu-Ray PQ, has an HD and DVR in one unit. The DIRECTV Plus HD DVR also features Media Share, allowing you to enjoy photos and music stored on your Intel Viiv processor technology-based PC on your TV. The HR22 is the latest, and like the HR21, lacks an ATSC tuner as the HR20s had. • , (HR21P) the most advanced home theater receiver with HD and DVR in one unit, has a larger capacity hard drive, better cooling and is rack mountable. The DIRECTV Pro HD DVR also features Media Share, allowing you to enjoy photos and music stored on your Intel Viiv processor technology-based PC on your TV. HR21 PRO is the latest. • (“Satellite-To-Go”) is the world’s first portable satellite TV system. It combines a receiver, antenna and TV all in one easyto-carry unit. DirecTV has introduced a new line of remotes to go with their new receivers. • (All remotes control receiver, TV, and two other devices.) An infrared remote that is pointed at the receiver to operate and stores device control codes, even when batteries are changed. • This remote does everything the infrared can do, and more. Its radio frequency (RF) capable so you don’t have to point your remote at the receiver to control it. Change channels from other rooms, fastforward through walls and adjust volume through the floor. • Larger than the standard DIRECTV remote, the Big Button Remote has bigger buttons and type so you can control your DIRECTV System more easily.


The newest DirecTV "D2" access card (front)

The newest DirecTV "D2" access card (back) continuing effort to combat piracy, an access card generation is created approximately every two years, superseding the old set. DirecTV is now utilizing a fifth generation of access cards. • P1, also known as F cards, were used until 1997. F cards have a picture of a satellite on the front. • P2, also known as H cards, were introduced in 1996 and eventually replaced F cards. H cards look the same as F cards. H cards were in use until 2002. • P3, also known as HU cards, were introduced in 1999 and were used until April, 2004. HU cards have a picture of a football player on the front. HU cards originally shipped with receivers with serial numbers above 0001 700 000. These were removed from circulation due to high piracy plaguing the system. • P4 cards were introduced in 2002 and are currently still in use. P4 cards are labeled "Access Card: 4."

Access card history
DirecTV transmits programming with encryption to mitigate signal piracy. The receiver (also known as an IRD, or "integrated receiver-decoder") utilizes ISO/IEC 7816 smart cards which tell the receiver how to decrypt the programming for viewing. In a


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• D1 cards were introduced in 2004 following compatibility problems with the P4 cards in some receivers. These cards can be identified by the silver edges, and simply bear the word "DirecTV" on the front (no number). • D2/P12 cards were introduced in 2005. This is the current "standard issue" card. These cards can be identified by a twotoned blue dot pattern resembling the DirecTV logo in addition to the DirecTV logo and the words "DirecTV Access Card". This card has a picture of a satellite on the front. The period 12 card is the only card that will work with R15, H20, and HR20 series receivers. DirecTV has long been a victim of an active signal piracy underground, but has recently begun to crack down on illegal reception of its signals. On its anti-piracy website, DirecTV claims to have sued over 25,000 end users, including celebrity O.J. Simpson. As of Spring 2008, the new access cards and signal encryption remain unbroken.


High-definition television (HDTV)

DirecTV AT-9 5-LNB "Sidecar" satellite dish its satellite signal than was previously feasible using the older MPEG-2 compression and DSS protocol it has been using. This technology will be gradually expanded to the existing satellites as customer equipment is replaced with new MPEG-4-capable receivers. Receiving the channels encoded in MPEG-4 requires newer receivers, such as the H20 as well as the 5-LNB Ka/Ku dish. DirecTV has contracted with Britain’s Pace Micro Technology, Korea’s LG Electronics and France’s Thomson to manufacture these new receivers. Pace manufactures the DirecTV Plus HD DVR (Model HR20-700, and HR21-700) and LG Electronics offers the Model H20-600 receiver, while Thomson provides the Model H20-100 and HR20-100 DVR receivers. DirecTV has admitted to software issues with some of the H20 receivers and HR20 DVRs, which have been plagued with random problems since they were released in mid-2006. DirecTV regularly released software updates for the HR20 receivers, in an effort to reduce issues to an acceptable level. DirecTV has phased out its original TiVobranded HD DVR, the HR10-250, which can only decode the older MPEG-2 signals. All DirecTV-delivered local HDTV stations

DirecTV AU9-S 5-LNB "Slimline" satellite dish Like its competitors, DirecTV offers highdefinition television (HDTV) and interactive services. To handle the proliferation of bandwidthintensive HDTV broadcasting, DirecTV rebroadcasts local HDTV stations using the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec while employing a newer transmission protocol (DVB-S2) over the newer satellites. This allows DirecTV to squeeze much more HD programming over


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(outside of the NYC and LA network stations) are encoded in MPEG-4. The HR10-250 cannot receive the MPEG-4 local HDTV stations in these markets but can still receive overthe-air ATSC broadcasts in these markets. After a multi-year hiatus, TiVo and DirecTV are developing a new TiVo enabled HD DVR that will be able to receive/decode DirecTV’s current MPEG-4 satellite signals, expected for release in 2010.


Satellite fleet
DirecTV provides its programming lineup through a fleet of ten total satellites, one of which is leased.

Marketing and commercials
Beginning in 2006, DirecTV began a series of commercials in which characters from popular movies and television shows break the fourth wall to promote the product. The original actors from these productions normally reprise their roles, and are inserted in using blue screen technology. These ads tout the service’s picture quality and the number of channels available in high-definition. These characters include Captain Kirk (William Shatner, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country), Bill Harding (Bill Paxton, Twister) , The Economics Teacher (Ben Stein, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd, Back to the Future), Burton Guster (Dule Hill, Psych), C.J. Parker (Pamela Anderson, Baywatch), Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn (Charlie Sheen, Major League), Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth, American Pie), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara, Entourage), Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver, Aliens), Steve Freeling (Craig T. Nelson, Poltergeist), Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates, Misery), The Girl in the Ferrari (Christie Brinkley, National Lampoon’s Vacation), and T-1000, (Robert Patrick, Terminator 2: Judgement Day),and Fat Bastard Austin Powers In Goldmember . Also in this series of commercials were Peyton, Eli and Archie Manning promoting NFL Sunday Ticket and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. promoting NASCAR Hot Pass. Cartoon characters have also been used in the ads, beginning with Scooby-Doo and the Mystery, Inc. gang.

Local channels
DirecTV also offers local channels (CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, PBS, The CW, MyNetworkTV, ION Television (in markets that carry that network), and some independent stations) in 94% of US markets. In markets that lack a CW affiliate, DirecTV includes WDCW from Washington, DC or XETV from San Diego. Subscribers located where they cannot receive a decent terrestrial television signal and/or live in a tiny market that only has a couple of stations can receive feeds from New York and Los Angeles for CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox, as well as a feed from the Washington, DC CW affiliate, though a waiver from the local affiliate stations may be required to allow this, approved at their discretion. National PBS and ION channels are also available. In the largest markets, local channels are carried on the satellite at 101°W. In some smaller markets, the local channels are carried on a second satellite located at 119°W which requires a slightly larger dish with two or three LNBs or the newer Ka/Ku 5-LNB dish. In a few smaller markets, local stations are located on a satellite at 72.5°W that requires a second dish to be installed. In late 2005, DirecTV began providing local HDTV channels to the largest markets, requiring newer receivers with a larger dish capable of receiving signals from up to five satellites at once. The Ku-band signals on the newer Ka/Ku dish are received from 101°W, 110°W, and 119°W, while Ka-band signals are from 99°W and 103°W. Local television channels are transmitted over optical fiber links, Ku-band satellite uplink, microwave, and conventional terrestrial transmission to uplink centers located throughout the United States.

Customer service
DirecTV’s customer service is provided by many third-party owned call centers both inside and outside the United States. DirecTV also has a subsidiary named DirecTV Customer Service LLC which owns call centers in Boise, Idaho, Huntsville, Alabama, Missoula, Montana, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and most recently Huntington, West Virginia. N.E.W. provides technical assistance by phone to customers who subscribe to DirecTV’s


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Protection Plan. Most of the call centers are run by other companies who are contracted to provide agents to answer customer phone calls regarding billing or technical questions. • • • • • • • •

NASCAR Hot Pass MLB Extra Innings CD USA XM Satellite Radio Commercialization of space Satellite television Satellite dish List of United States cable and satellite television networks • Videoguard

Telemarketing violations
In December 2005 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission imposed a $5.3 million penalty on DirecTV for its violations of federal telemarketing regulations. It was the largest civil penalty the FTC had ever announced in a case enforcing any consumer protection law.[14] DirecTV continues to sell services to existing U.S. customers via telephone, through companies such as Teleservices Direct, an Indiana-based telemarketing firm.


20,000 Complaints to the BBB
In August 2008, the Boston Globe reported that DirectTV received 20,000 complaints in less than three years to the Better Business Bureau on DirectTV slipping in cancelation fees. [15]

Carriage controversies
On July 13, 2007 DirecTV put out a press release claiming it would add the HD versions of HBO 2 (West), HBO 2 (East), HBO Family (East), HBO Family (West), HBO Latino, HBO Signature, and moreMax by the end of September 2007. [16] Currently, the claim has yet to be fulfilled. DirecTV also does not carry HBO Zone, HBO Comedy, @Max, ActionMax, OuterMax, ThrillerMax, 5StarMax and Wmax at all. [17][18] As a comparison, all of the Showtime channels [19] and most of the Starz channels [20] that DirecTV offers are available in HD. (Coincidentally, Starz Entertainment and The DirecTV Group are both owned by Liberty Media). DirecTV added Artists and Fans Network (AFN), a 24-hour country music video to channel 325 on January 21, 2009. However, it was removed on March 25, 2009 without a warning or explanation. On April 1, 2009, an infomercial channel took its place on channel 325.

See also
• List of DirecTV channels • NFL Sunday Ticket • Mega March Madness

[1] ^ DirecTV Group Form 10-K, filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, dated 25 February 2008, URL retrieved 3 October 2008 [2] releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=382409 [3] "DIRECTV - Our Company". DIRECTV, Inc.. global/ contentPage.jsp?assetId=1400010&footernavtype=5 Retrieved on 2009-04-05. [4] ^ Vines, James K. (2003-02-20). "Smyrna Businessman Pleads Guilty in Satellite Piracy Case". U.S. Department of Justice. cybercrime/tollesonPlea.htm. Retrieved on 2009-04-05. [5] ^ DirecTV Group Form 10-K, filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, dated 1 March 2007, URL retrieved 26 March 2007 [6] The 101 Network on DirecTV [7] "DIRECTV International". data. contentPage.jsp?assetId=2980007&footernavtype=-1 Retrieved on 2009-04-01. [8] technology/33467/ news_corp_purchase_of_directv_okd/ index.html [9] articlebusiness.aspx?type=ousiv&storyid=2006-12-0 NEWSCORP-LIBERTYDC.XML&WTmodLoc=InvArtR3-MostViewedBiz-3&from=business [10] DirecTV to carry 100 National HD Channels in 2007 [11] [1] [12] Yao, Deborah (4 May 2009). "DirecTV, Liberty Media Detail Spinoff Plans". Associated Press.


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story/1512847.html. Retrieved on 4 May [20] DirecTV Official Site - Starz Super Pack 2009. Information [13] "DIRECTV and TiVo to Launch New HD DIRECTV DVR with TiVo Service". DirecTV. 2008-09-03. • "EKB: Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations" by BobaBird, DBStalk, contentPage.jsp?assetId=P4900010. retrieved March 7, 2006 Retrieved on 2008-09-04. • DirecTV marks 10th anniversary in the [14] DirecTV to Pay $5.3 Million Penalty for Caribbean - Wednesday, January 3, 2007: Do Not Call Violations Trinidad and Tobago Express Newspaper [15] 2008/08/31/ directv_says_its_cancellation_fee_is_fair_since_installation_is_free/ [16] DirecTV Press Release July 13, 2007 • DirecTV corporate web site DIRECTV to Offer 11 HBO/Cinemax • DirecTV’s Sat-Go - The world’s first Channels in HD portable satellite TV system [17] DirecTV Official Site - HBO package • "EKB: Glossary of Terms and information Abbreviations" by BobaBird, DBStalk, [18] DirecTV Official Site - Cinemax package retrieved March 7, 2006 information


External links

[19] DirecTV Official Site - Showtime Unlimited Information

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