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Where there’s competition, there is a fight for better products and lower prices. With battles between satellite providers Dish Network and DirecTV raging, television consumers like you get to reap the benefits of quality service without breaking the bank.
In an effort to capitalize on the foreign language marketplace, both companies offer programming specifically to pique the interests of those looking for alternatives to the English-speaking channels.
Previously, I reviewed the Dish Network Filipino packages, and in this article, I will consider the DirecTV Filipino options. The main advantage DirecTV holds over Dish Network in this particular market is by providing access to TFC (The Filipino Channel) which is probably the most popular Filipino language channel. TFC is a global TV channel, based in Redwood City, California, and is owned and operated by Philippine media conglomerate ABS-CBN. It’s programming primarily consists of imported programs from ABS-CBN. This channel is available in all three DirecTV Filipino packages.
Pinoy Direct is the most basic Filipino language option available from DirecTV. It includes TFC, found on channel 2060 as well as two additional foreign channels. They are GMA Pinoy (2061) and MYX Asian American Music (2067). GMA Pinoy airs shows produced by the GMA Network and its flagship station in the Philippines. The PinoyDirect option is $25.99 a month in addition to the base programming package.
TFC Direct is the second DirecTV Filipino package and is offered for $26.99 plus the base package. Instead of the GMA Pinoy channel, you receive six other Filipino channels. These channels are Cinema One Global (2063), ABS-CBN News channel (2062), ABS-CBN Sports + Action (2064), MYX (2067), INCTV (2068) and Lifestyle Network (2070). You also receive to music channels: MOR 101.9 (2065) and DZMM (2066).
MYX is targeted to youth audiences, with music videos as its primary content. INCTV is a network that focuses on religious-based programming. It is affiliated with the Iglesia Ni Cristo, or Church of Christ. Lifestyle Network is a global Filipino channel that targets upscale women with lifestyle and entertainment shows. Original programming includes such shows as Fashion Nation, InSight, MomWorks, and Fashion and Style Hub (F.A.S.H.).
The final DirecTV option is the Filipino Direct package, which basically combines the previous packages together for $37.99 a month. With this option, you will get everything in the TFCDirect and Pinoy Direct plus GMA Life TV and Kapatid TV5. GMA life is GMA’s second international channel and caters to Filipino women. Kapatid TV offers everything from news programming, dramas, and comedies. Once you know which Filipino TV channels you want, you can decide which DirecTV package is right for you.
To get Filipino programming with DirecTV, you must first start with a base package. The good news is you can take advantage of the DirecTV deals that are available and get lower prices on an English package. With six package options, you can choose the right one for your budget and interest.
If you don’t want a lot of English language content, the DirecTV Select is the smallest package at $50 a month and provides 150 channels. The largest package includes more than 325 channels at $125 a month. These prices last for the first 12 months, and then increase to $90 and $187, respectively, for the second year.
If you want to save even more, you can bundle with other AT&T services. If you enroll in AT&T’s Unlimited Plus mobile device plan, you can save $25 per month on DirecTV. Plus, when you order online, you get the $35 activation fee waived.
You can also enjoy Filipino programming with DirecTV’s digital recorder, Genie. With it, the whole family can enjoy their favorite shows. Instead of fighting over who’s show is better, users can record up to five shows at once to watch later.
The trick with DirecTV is to get the smallest possible package that includes the channels you want. Since you're required to get a base package in order to access Filipino channels, customers who are primarily interested in Filipino channels are often happiest with DirecTV Select. It's a pain if you don't enjoy English programming at all, but for better or worse it's one of the better deals currently available. When bundled with AT&T Internet and/or phone service, it can create solid value for Filipino TV fans compared to Dish or streaming options.