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Television Businesses The Almighty Buck

Cable TV Prices Rising At Four Times the Inflation Rate 286

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-the-market-will-bear dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new FCC report (PDF) has found that U.S. cable TV prices are rising at four times the rate of inflation over the past two decades. 'Basic cable service prices increased by 6.5 percent [to $22.63] for the 12 months ending January 1, 2013. Expanded basic cable prices increased by 5.1 percent [to $64.41] for those 12 months, and at a compound average annual rate of 6.1 percent over the 18-year period from 1995-2013. ... These price increases compare to a 1.6 percent increase in general inflation as measured by the CPI (All Items) for the same one-year period.' Equipment prices rose faster than inflation, too. The report also found that the price increases weren't helped by competition — in fact, the prices rose faster where there were competing providers than in areas where the main provider had no effective competition."
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Cable TV Prices Rising At Four Times the Inflation Rate

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  • Re:Question ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 16, 2014 @08:26PM (#47022521)

    Yes, we can now watch the same advertising on 300 different channels.

  • In the future... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 16, 2014 @08:27PM (#47022531)

    There will be 5,000 channels and absolutely nothing to watch.

    Outside of the baby boomers generation most individuals in my age bracket (28 here) gave up on cable/satellite television due to hyper-aggressive advertising policies, price gouging, and providing little to no value over services that frankly the internet does a better job of. It is simply undesirable to watch/use in favor of essentially anything else.

  • by Technician (215283) on Friday May 16, 2014 @08:33PM (#47022581)

    The truth is there are a lot of cable cutters. The basic subscription is only to get a break on Internet. DSL and basic phone service is the same thing. My home phone has no long distance plan at all. It is redundant and expensive compaired to my Cell or VOIP which include all of US and Canada as a local call.

    WIth Netflix, Hulu, etc, unless you want the sports package, why would you even have cable at all, other than to get a break on the Internet package.

    Intenet without basic TV is often higher in price or not offered at all, so the basic TV added is close to zero additional cost.

    I've cut Cable TV long ago. I'm not an armchair quarterback.

    When working nights, and infomercials plug up the daytime TV, there is little to watch, except on Netflix. TV seasons, science, etc shows can be watched at your convience commercial free. Cable companies hate that. To keep profits up, with cord cutting, they soak the sports junkies that need real time program delivery.

  • by spirit_fingers (777604) on Friday May 16, 2014 @09:16PM (#47022773)

    I've been weaning myself off cable in stages. Six months ago I realized that I wasn't watching Starz enough to justify the $40/month charge, so I dropped it.

    Now I'm coming to the realization that I watch Hulu+ and Amazon Prime as much if not more than cable, so now I'm on the verge of cutting my cord to Comcast and just steaming through my pokey old AT&T DSL line. It's not quite fast enough for a 1080p stream, but it looks acceptable to me at standard def on my 55" plasma. So there you go. Comcast has just priced themselves out of my life.

  • Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by finalcutmonstar (1862890) on Friday May 16, 2014 @10:24PM (#47023003)
    Cable tv is loaded with useless channels that the consumer is forced to pay for. Channels that most consumers never watch and/or never heard of come with the package and contribute to the cost of monthly access. Cable providers will never allow the consumer to pick what channels they want so the only solution is to cut the cord and subscribe to services like Netflix and Hulu. The other(not so legal option) is to torrent your favorite shows.
  • by UPZ (947916) on Friday May 16, 2014 @10:32PM (#47023037)
    I finally cut the cord last month. I missed TV for the first week, but since then it has turned into a very liberating experience. Now when I come home from work, I have time left to do other things, including chatting with friends and family, working out, volunteering, and becoming more politically active :-) You could not pay me to go back to cable.
  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Friday May 16, 2014 @11:09PM (#47023141)

    I really wish cable/satellite would adopt "Chinese Menu" pricing for their mid-tier, and allow people who don't care about Disney*.* or ESPN*.* to pay the same price, but substitute HBO and/or Showtime instead (ie, pick two out of four... Disney, ESPN, HBO, Showtime... 3 for $10 more, all 4 for $18 more). I believe it would mostly be revenue-neutral for the cable/satellite companies, and would go a long way towards softening the sting of my monthly cable bill by letting me substitute two channels I don't currently pay for, but would LOVE to get instead of two expensive blocks of channels I never watch.

  • Re:Not surprised (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EvilSS (557649) on Friday May 16, 2014 @11:13PM (#47023153)

    Cable tv is loaded with useless channels that the consumer is forced to pay for. Channels that most consumers never watch and/or never heard of come with the package and contribute to the cost of monthly access. Cable providers will never allow the consumer to pick what channels they want so the only solution is to cut the cord and subscribe to services like Netflix and Hulu. The other(not so legal option) is to torrent your favorite shows.

    The majority of the blame for bundling goes to the networks actually. They force bundles onto the cable companies, the cable companies then turn around and pass those bundles on to their subscribers. It also doesn't help that they all compete on how many channels you get as a selling point for the consumer (so blame the viewers a bit for being stupid as well). I wouldn't be surprised if a good chunk of those rising prices are due to the networks as well. They are addicted to the fees they are getting from pay TV services. Just look at the carriage contract fights that have been popping up more and more lately.

    The whole damned industry from producers to the cable companies is a rapidly getting out of control and it's just going to get worse. Allowing mergers between cable companies and content providers was a huge mistake and it's going to end up biting everyone in the ass eventually.

  • lol (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday May 16, 2014 @11:46PM (#47023255)

    The inflation rate as reported by the federal government is complete shit. It's likely closer to 10%
    The equipment they're talking about is vastly different than the equipment in the previous year. How many people switched from SD to HD in that time? That was one of the peak years for HD adoption.
    Internet speeds across the industry jumped drastically in 2012 due to DOCSIS 3 rollouts. I, personally, went from 15mb/s to 50mb/s over night with no cost increase to me at all.
    In 2012 most cable companies introduced the new pay as you go plans which allowed you to pay a slightly higher rate in exchange for no contract.

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