DirecTV is reportedly raising its prices this year starting March 1.

The rate hike will see as much as an 8.7 percent increase in the lowest-priced service tier, but the average rate increase will be 4 percent.

EchoStar Communications’ Dish Network has already announced that it will raise its rates this year an average of 4 percent.

For new satellite subscribers, DirecTV’s Total Choice package will increase $3 per month – from $41.99 to $44.99 – and the Total Choice Plus package will increase $4, from $45.99 to $49.99, according to published reports.

Current subscribers will see a $3 price increase across all of DirecTV’s packages (an average increase of 4.5 percent).

Additionally, DirecTV is now delivering local and broadcast network programming in Harrisonburg, Va., and Palm Springs, Calif. The satellite provider now offers SD local channels in 146 markets, representing nearly 95 percent of U.S. TV households.

More Broadband Direct:

• TWC to test bandwidth-based pricing plan for Internet service 

• Verizon’s FiOS looking to enter NYC, expands in Del. 

• DirecTV reportedly raising prices beginning March 1 

• Study: Antenna users will gravitate toward over-the-air after DTV transition 

• TiVo deals with Jaman to get indie content 

• Harris Broadband’s subs get integrated triple-play bill 

• Broadband Briefs for 1/17/08