The history of DirecTV is quite lengthy and dates back to Howard Hughe’s creation of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, founded in 1953. Following his death, Hughes company was split into 4 divisions, one of which was Hughes Space and Communications. This company was sold and merged with other companies numerous times. After failing to reach an agreement with NBC and Cablevision in 1990, the company decided to make its own separate division, DirecTV.
In 1998, DirecTV acquired United States Satellite Broadcasting (USSB). The following year, Primestar was acquired.
In 2004, DirecTV stopped servicing the Mexican market, although it retains a 41% interest SKY satellite system in Mexico and in 2007, stopped servicing Brazil, while directing customers to the 74% DirecTV owned SKY Brazil satellite system.
In 2006, DirecTV sold off the last of its non-core business entities and began to focus solely on satellite TV service.
In 2007, 100 HD channels were added. Also in 2007. the DirecTV blimp named “lefty” was launched in October 2007 at the MLB World Series, held in Boston, Massachusetts. It has been seen all over the US since its rollout.
In 2010, Sirius XM channels were replaced with Sonic Tap.
As of 2012, the company no longer offers a 30-day grace period for those who wish to try the service. “If you do not fulfill your Programming Agreements, DirecTV may charge a pro-rated fee of up to $480”.
DirecTV has had numerous channel disputes in recent years including dropping Versus (now NBC Sports) in 2009, G4 in 2010 and a Viacom dispute in 2012 which was successfully resolved.
DirecTV currently services nearly 20 million users worldwide. The DirecTV corporate office remains in El Segundo, California, at this time.
In late 2017, AT&T’s planned over-the-top service for DirecTV won’t require a satellite dish or a receiver to receive DirecTV programming, but simply a high-speed internet connection. DirecTV Now will be available through digital media players and devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Chromecast.
In May 2020, DirecTV pulled service from Venezula due to US sanctions.
Due to the lack of sports coverage because of the COVID-19 pandemnic and subsequent quarantine, the company offered refunds to those who had subscribed to their sports channels.