New DirecTV customers to pay $3 a month for sports

Published On: Dec 10 2012 08:54:14 PM EST

DirecTV has started charging new customers $3 more per month if they want a package that includes multiple regional sports networks.

The charge went into effect nationally with little fanfare in September, a couple months before DirecTV agreed to pay more for new sports channels provided by competitor Time Warner Cable Inc. that have exclusive coverage of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Time Warner Cable had asked nearly $4 per month per subscriber for the channels.

DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer says the surcharge is a way for DirectTV to recover some, if not all, of the costs of sports in certain markets.

The nation's largest cities all have multiple sports networks, including New York and Los Angeles.