DirecTV is testing a strategy that could represent a significant change in the dispute with local cable operators and even with Sky, the rival DTH provider. It?s preparing a new set of programming packages in the price range 44.90-66.80 reals per month (now about 18-27 US dollars). The cheaper option, called Silver, will offer all channels now in its basic lineup plus BandSports. The Gold package will also include HBO?s movie channels. The test began on May 10 in São Gonçalo (Rio de Janeiro), Campo Grande (Mato Grosso do Sul), Cuiabá (Mato Grosso), Maceió (Alagoas), and Santos, Taubaté, Americana and São José dos Campos (São Paulo). All these cities have new cable operators. Philippe Boutaud, DirecTV?s general manager, says it?s not a matter of dumbing down. ?The idea is to offer a more affordable choice in the expectation of attracting new customers who will buy more from DirecTV in future,? he explains. Pricing will be final rather than promotional, and competes frontally with cable, as does the membership fee of 149.90 reals (now about 60 USD). Marketing actions will highlight interactive services and digital signal quality. ?We believe this is the right time to target middle-income consumers, even for DTH,? says Boutaud, referring to income group B- and possibly C+ (Brazilian classification). DirecTV says delinquency control systems have been fine-tuned and current levels of churn are appropriate to the new strategy.