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One of the main reasons that people stay away from satellite television is because of the anticipated costs. However, these costs do not need to be prohibitive and often are not nearly as bad as you think. The truth is that most satellite providers will offer giveaways for their equipment in exchange for extended contracts for service (1 –2 years).
For people looking into DIRECTV, I can tell you that you can usually find specials that will include your DIRECTV Dish and receiver for free with a one year subscription.
The DIRECTV dish and other necessary equipment are often given away because it is worth it to the company. The real money that they make is from the monthly fees for service and not from the hardware. If they could increase their subscriber base by giving away free DIRECTVdish and receiver equipment, then in the long term, they will make far more.
Whatever the reasons, these offers are out there. You should be patient until you find the right deal when it comes to subscribing to DIRECTV and buying your DIRECTV dish. Like with cellular phones, these deals are often left up to the reseller and it can be as easy as finding the right one.