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DISH Pricing for 2024

Last updated: 3/16/2024
Value score
Top 120$84.99
Best value
Top 250$114.99
based on 23 vote(s)
View/add reviews

For years, DISH was mostly considered the cheaper alternative to DIRECTV (and cable). Nowadays, with other sources of live entertainment like streaming TV, that's no longer the case. However, DISH still occupies a solid niche for folks that want a full entertainment experience with a robust channel lineup and high-end DVR (Hopper). Let's dig a bit deeper into DISH and see if it still presents a good value...


  • Fair value across most plans
  • Prices locked in for 2 years
  • Minimal extra fees
  • Auto-pay discount
  • Plenty of custom offers (military, etc.)


  • Overall, more expensive than streaming
  • Can't remove channels you don't want

Current Prices for DISH's Packages

For starters, here's a quick look at the prices for DISH's plans. All prices are locked in for up to 2 years (2-year minimum contract). The lowest-cost option is America's Top 120. The last column gives you a relative look at how much you're paying for each channel. The lower the cost/channel, the better the value. So, based on current pricing and if you can afford it, America's Top 250 gives you best value.

Price /mo
Cost /Channel
See how DISH stacks up to other providers in your area

DISH's cheapest plan

DISH's lowest-cost option is America's Top 120. It features 190 channels for $84.99/mo. It's the first plan to include some of the more popular channels available: ABC Family, CNN, CNBC, Discovery, ESPN, Fox, TBS, USA, etc.

As with all of DISH's plans, AT 120 also quaifies you for the DISH Hopper. The high-tech receiver is one of the best DVRs on the market with its 2 TB of storage, intuitive program guide and slick voice remote. The monthly fee for the Hopper is as low as $5/mo (HD access included).

If you want to lower your costs even more and don't need local channels, DISH lets you remove locals from a plan and save $12/mo. In most areas, an HD antenna will get you most of those channels for free. Always try that option first.

Save more with an auto-pay discount

To get your bill even lower, DISH offers an auto-pay discount of $5/mo when you have a payment method registered (bank account or card) and auto-pay enabled. Unless you need to manually control your payments, it's an easy way to save 6% on this plan.

DISH's best value plan

With TV plans, we consider "value" as getting a line-up below market price (by adding the inherent value of all the channels included). An easy way of doing that is by the simple formula of: [ price / total channels ]. For best results, you need to filter out low-value stuff like music and sparsely-watched public programming. Value doesn't always mean cheapest either. With DISH, their most valuable plan is America's Top 250 (290 channels for $114.99/mo).

Its cost/channel is $0.40, the lowest of all their plans. Of course, at $114.99, it doesn't fit everyone's budget. If that's the case, America's Top 120 still offers solid value ($0.45), at a more reasonable price tag of $84.99/mo. Compared to DIRECTV and most other cable providers, DISH's plan value is right there or even better.

Bottom Line
DISH offers above-average value across all their plans, peaking with AT 250. America's Top 120 combines low cost and solid value.
View all plans

Premium channel bundles and add-on packs

Most channel favorites are found in one of DISH's main plans but if you want extra movie, sports or specialty channels, add-on packs and premium channels are the way to go. DISH offers a total of 9 primary add-on packs, ranging from $4 to $12. Here's a quick overview:

  • Locals Pack ($12/mo, # chs varies) - get access to all your local news and programming (varies by location).
  • Outdoor Pack ($4/mo, 4 chs) - get your dose of adventure, racing and outdoor coverage. World Fishing Network, Outdoor Channel, etc.
  • Multi-Sport Pack ($13/mo, 15 chs) - the best sports add-on option from DISH. NFL Network, MLB Network, NHL Network, NFL RedZone, Pac-12 Network, Big Ten Network, etc.
  • Stars & Stripes Pack ($10/mo, 7 chs) - features memorable moments in American history. Included free for active and retired military. American Heroes channel. Destination America, Smithsonian Channel, etc.
  • Heartland Pack ($6/mo, 14 chs) - mainstream America programming that's great for the entire family. Hallmark, Hallmark Mysteries, OWN, etc.
  • National Action Pack ($12/mo, 11 chs) - national sports channels that cover the big four and quite a few more. ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, fuse, Motortrend, etc.
  • Regional Action Pack ($12/mo, 8 chs) - get access to a bunch of college and pro coverage, not including regional sports networks (RSNs) which broadcast your local sports. Pac 12 Network, Big 10 Network, SEC Network, FS2, ACC Network, etc.
  • Variety Pack ($6/mo, 6 chs) - a fun mix of drama and reality programming. Bravo, BET, Crime+Investigation, Freeform, LMN and ID.
  • News Pack ($10/mo, 7 chs) - when you need more news and perspectives, this is the add-on programming to get. Bloomberg, Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, MSNBC, etc.
  • Kids Pack ($10/mo, 9 chs) - general-interest programming geared towards kids, from toddlers to teenagers. Animal Planet, Baby TV, Boomerang, Disney, Disney Jr, etc.

Premium movies and specialty channels

As with all TV providers, DISH lets you purchase premium movie channels (like HBO) for an additional fee. These prices are pretty standard across all providers so not much reason to shop around. With all these, if you subscribe via DISH, you can use your DISH login to watch directly on their app, if they have one (e.g., HBO Max app).

  • HBO Max pack - 6 HBO channels for $16/mo.
  • Cinemax pack - 3 channels for $10/mo.
  • Showtime - 10 channels for $10/mo.
  • STARZ - 8 channels for $10/mo.
  • STARZ Encore - 9 channels for $6/mo.
  • DISH Movie Pack - 9 channels for $10/mo.
  • MGM+ - 4 channels for $7/mo.

Fees and Hidden Charges

When it comes to home services, our biggest pet peeve is hidden (or obscure) fees. In the past, it's been a legal yet somewhat underhanded way to tack on fees. Nowadays, new laws require full disclosure of ALL costs and fees, right up-front. The reality is things still aren't always so clear, especially online.

With DISH, they've always been pretty transparent with pricing, especially in recent years. Specifically, they shifted to a price-lock format a few years back that clearly states all fees up-front. Here are all of DISH's costs and fees (currently only two) that are added to their base prices:

DISH's highest monthly fees

Locals DVR fee

"Locals" are the fee you pay for access to local channels. In a move we wish other providers would adopt, DISH recently split-off the local channels fee so folks who already have locals or don't need them can save a good percentage off their bill. A DVR fee is required and varies depending on whether you get the Hopper 3 ($10/mo) or Duo ($5/mo).

2-year price lock guarantee

We've touched on it but how exactly does DISH's 2-year price lock guarantee work? Well, thankfully, they make it pretty straight-forward. First-off, don't confuse the price lock with their contract length. When you sign-up with DISH, you're committing to a 2-year contract. The price guarantee ensures you pay the exact same price for up to 2 years. In year 3 and beyond, you'll pay the prevailing price at that time (which could be more or less). Overall, we highly recommend price-lock arrangements, especially for multi-year contracts. You'll almost never find one as long as 2 years, so kudos to DISH.

How to remove local channels

As mentioned, DISH lets you decide whether to include local channels with your plan. If you rarely watch local news (or have another source of local programming like an HD antenna) and want to exclude them, it'll save you $12/mo. That's a pretty big discount, especially with the smaller plans. Kudos to DISH for this type of flexibility - more TV providers are going this route and DISH was one of the first.

Wrapping up

Overall, while DISH isn't the least expensive way to get a full lineup of live channels, they do an admirable job of being open and forthcoming with pricing. There are only two major fees added to your base plan (local channels and DVR) - everything else is wrapped into the core price. That makes things super easy to understand and compare.

Speaking of which, DISH's biggest upsides over rivals are its excellent Hopper DVR, massive lineup of live channels, 2-year locked prices and, being satellite, availability from just about anywhere in the country. If any of those are important to you, give DISH a serious look.

Learn more about DISH

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