Compare DIRECTV vs. Xfinity
By Lisa Iscrupe Last updated: March 2, 2023
Compare DIRECTV and Xfinity head-to-head to find the best TV package for you.
Is DIRECTV or XFINITY the better TV provider for you?
DIRECTV generally offers much better channel lineups at a much higher price. If you care about having the most TV options at your fingertips — including premium channels like HBO Max™, Cinemax®, SHOWTIME®, MGM+™ and STARZ — go with DIRECTV. Just know that you’ll have to commit to a two-year contract and pay almost 50% more after 24 months.
Xfinity’s TV plans are a lot more modest when it comes to price and channel lineups. You’ll get almost all of the popular channels you’re used to with cable TV, but not the premium ones. (If you want those, you’ll have to subscribe to their streaming services.) But that’s not to say Xfinity TV doesn’t have its perks.
Take a look at how the two services compare by availability, pricing, bundle options, customer satisfaction and more.
DIRECTV vs. XFINITY quick comparison
- Best availability: DIRECTV offers satellite TV service in all 50 states and is available virtually everywhere, while Xfinity is available in 40 states.
- Channel selection: DIRECTV has the best channel lineups overall, with the most regional sports networks and premium channels included.
- Price: Xfinity offers the lowest introductory pricing with a starting price of $20/mo.
DIRECTV vs. Xfinity TV package options and pricing
DIRECTV gives you more base package options with four total compared to Xfinity’s two. You’ll get a better channel selection with DIRECTV, but if you’re looking for a base TV package without a lot of premium channels, Xfinity’s basic TV plan is cheaper.
If you’re a sports fan, DIRECTV is probably the better option. It carries more regional sports networks, so it’s more likely you’ll be able to see your local MBL, NHL or NBA team’s games.
For a look at the available channels with DIRECTV and Xfinity packages, look to our DIRECTV channel guide and Xfinity channel guide.
|Package||Starting monthly price||TV channel count||Top channels||Premium channels|
|ENTERTAINMENT||$64.991||165+||AMC, ESPN, ESPN2, FOX Sports 1, TBS, TLC, TNT, USA||HBO Max™, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, MGM+™ & Cinemax® included for first three months on DIRECTV|
|CHOICE™||$84.992||200+||MLB Network, OWN, Travel Channel, Weather Channel||HBO Max™, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, Cinemax® & MGM+™ included for first three months on DIRECTV|
|ULTIMATE||$109.993||270+||Fox Sports 2, LMN, FX Movie Channel||HBO Max™, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, Cinemax® & MGM+™ included for first three months on DIRECTV|
|PREMIER™||$154.994||340+||Magnolia Network, FYI, Discovery Family, Destination America||HBO Max™, SHOWTIME®, STARZ® and Cinemax® included. MGM+™ included for first three months on DIRECTV|
1 ENTERTAINMENT: $64.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees. w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. is extra and applies.
2 CHOICE: $84.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. and Regional Sports Fee up to $13.99/mo. are extra & apply.
3 ULTIMATE: $109.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. and Regional Sports Fee up to $13.99/mo. are extra & apply.
4 PREMIER: $154.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. and Regional Sports Fee up to $13.99/mo. are extra & apply.
**$19.95 ACTIVATION, EARLY TERMINATION FEE OF $20/MO. FOR EACH MONTH REMAINING ON AGMT., EQUIPMENT NON-RETURN & ADD’L FEES APPLY. Price incl. TV Pkg, equip. fees for first TV connection and standard pro installation. $7/mo. for each additional TV connection on your account. Wireless upgrade with HD DVR $99.00. New approved residential customers only (equipment lease req’d). Credit card req’d (except MA & PA). Restr’s apply.1/23/23.
Xfinity TV pricing
|Package||Introductory price*||Channel count|
|Limited Basic *Best for streamers||$20.00/mo.||10+|
|Popular TV *Best for casual viewers||$49.99/mo.||125+|
|Digital Preferred *Best for sports fans||$69.99/mo.||185+|
|Digital Premier *Best for movie lovers||$89.99/mo.||185+|
DIRECTV vs. Xfinity streaming
If you’d rather get your TV through streaming, both DIRECTV and Xfinity offer some good options. DIRECTV STREAM starts at $74.99/mo., provides 75-150+ channels and doesn’t come with equipment costs or contracts. The channel lineup isn’t quite as good as DIRECTV, but it’s still a solid option if you’re looking for more flexibility.
Xfinity doesn’t have a streaming-only option for live TV, but a streaming device is available for purchase.
DIRECTV vs. Xfinity contracts, equipment and fees
In addition to the base price with Xfinity and DIRECTV, there are a number of other costs you should take into account before choosing a provider.
If you intend to stick with either provider for longer than the initial contract term of one year, you will incur a price increase as promotional pricing expires.
After 24 months with DIRECTV, the price jump is higher than Xfinity. The ENTERTAINMENT plan would jump from $64.99/mo. to $102/mo. CHOICE increases from $84.99/mo. to $122/mo.
DIRECTV requires a two-year contract with all of its satellite plans, while Xfinity has both month-to-month and one-year contract options. If you choose to go no-contract with Xfinity, your monthly price will be significantly higher. The Extra plan jumps from $49.99/mo. with a one-year contract to $70/mo. without one, while the Preferred+ plan goes from $59.99/mo. to $88.50/mo.
You can expect to pay some extra fees with both providers, but Xfinity is the worse offender by far. Both charge a regional sports fee of around $10 depending on where you live, but Xfinity charges a $15 self-installation fee, $5/mo. for a TV box and up to $19.45/mo. for a Broadcast TV fee. DIRECTV, on the other hand, includes all equipment but does charge $7/mo. for each additional receiver that you use. In addition, DIRECTV includes RSN fees of up to $13.99 (for Choice + packages) and an Advanced Receiver Fee of $15 for all packages.
DIRECTV vs. Xfinity TV special offers
DIRECTV special features and offers
- Premium channels included – HBO Max, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax and MGM+ are included for the first 3 months for three of their packages (Entertainment, Choice and Ultimate). And for their Premier package (which already includes those premium channels), MGM+ is included for the first three months.
Xfinity special features and offers
- On-Demand and add-on packages – Xfinity boasts an impressive catalog of On-Demand, international and specialty add-on packages. Choose a base TV plan and add on packages dedicated to history, fitness, kids programming, karaoke and languages from around the world.
DIRECTV vs. Xfinity TV and internet bundles
Bundling is one area where Xfinity and DIRECTV can differ quite a bit. What’s the difference when bundling with each provider?
- Xfinity offers traditional TV and internet bundles wherever Xfinity services are available. Bundling Xfinity internet and TV on one bill can qualify you for significant monthly discounts or equipment upgrades.
- DIRECTV does not offer internet service directly, but rather partners with leading internet providers to bring you TV and internet bundles. DIRECTV bundles favor AT&T internet service and often feature additional rewards or discounts when bundling with AT&T internet. However, you can also choose another internet service provider, such as CenturyLink, Frontier, HughesNet or Verizon, in AT&T non-serviceable areas.
How to put together a DIRECTV or Xfinity bundle
To create a DIRECTV bundle that is perfect for your household, select the DIRECTV channel package you prefer, plus the AT&T internet speed you need. Internet speeds vary depending on area.
- Internet 25
- Internet 50
- Internet 75
- Fiber 300
- Fiber 500
- Fiber 1000
To put together an Xfinity bundle that fits your needs, select from internet speeds ranging from 25 to 1,000 Mbps (where available), then add on one of Xfinity’s six TV packages, with channel counts ranging from 10 to 260+. With Xfinity, you also have the option to add home phone, home security and mobile phone plans.
Examples of popular bundle offers
DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT + AT&T 300 Internet
- Starting price: $119.99/mo.*
- Channels: 165+
- Internet speeds: up to 300 Mbps
- Data cap: unlimited with select bundles
- Bundle savings: $0/mo.
Xfinity Popular TV + Connect More Internet
- Starting price: $119.75/mo.*
- Channels: 125+
- Internet speeds: up to 200 Mbps
- Data cap: varies by location
- Bundle savings: $10/mo.*
Available DIRECTV or Xfinity bundles will vary by location. Depending on where you live, you could add internet service with speeds up to 1,000 Mbps or higher.
DIRECTV vs. Xfinity customer satisfaction
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) evaluates top TV providers based on feedback from actual customers. The scores are a reflection of service quality, ease of understanding bill, customer service interactions and more. Here’s how DIRECTV and Xfinity scored over the past three years.
|Provider||2022 score||2021 score||2020 score||Avg. past three years|
DIRECTV vs. Xfinity FAQs
Is DIRECTV better than cable?
DIRECTV can offer better availability, picture quality and channel options than most cable TV services. The new SignalSaver feature ensures you won’t miss any of your favorite moments as long as you have a set-top box connected to the internet. Additionally, DIRECTV service comes with a two-year contract, which is a longer agreement than most cable providers require.
Can I get DIRECTV with Xfinity internet?
Where available, you can get Xfinity internet and DIRECTV service for your home. If you choose to get DIRECTV and Xfinity internet, you may not be eligible for special savings or equipment upgrades that you would get with Xfinity TV and internet or DIRECTV and AT&T internet bundles.
How much does DIRECTV cost after 24 months?
DIRECTV requires a two-year contract and raises the package price after two years. The price increase depends on which DIRECTV package you have, but can add as much as $50 or more to your monthly bill.
Does DIRECTV have On Demand like Xfinity?
DIRECTV does offer On-Demand service, but not the same On-Demand packages as Xfinity. DIRECTV’s available On-Demand library is based on the channels in your package, whereas Xfinity allows you to add On-Demand packages with programming that may not be included with your TV package.
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Written by:Lisa Iscrupe
Writer, Broadband & Data Content
Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet-TV providers to inform her writing on broadband. Her work has been referenced by CNN and other national sources. In Lisa’s Words: Ever… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
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