As the New Year started, we all expected many amazing things to happen in our lives. Yes, some of us who are realists also expected a few (not so) amazing things now and then. However, cable TV price rise is not something anyone anticipated or wanted, but it is happening anyway. Spectrum, Altice, Comcast, and AT&T have announced prices to climb for 2020.
As always, all these cable providers are blaming programming costs such as broadcast fees and sports surcharges for the rise in prices for their customers. As the programming costs rise they are transferred to the customers right away. Even though providers claim they absorb some of the cost hikes themselves but I have my doubts.
Another reason pointed out by these cable providers is the falling number of cable TV customers due to the rise in streaming services. As more and more households choose to cut the cord, several satellite and cable companies are offering or at least considering offering streaming services as well.
Here is a look into the expected price hikes for a few of the largest cable providers in America:
Last October Spectrum TV service prices rose by $7.50/month for all its TV packages: Select, Silver, and Gold. The Broadcast TV Fee went up by $1.50/month and the rental charge for TV boxes increased by $0.50/month.
The people who thought they could save themselves from the price rise by cutting the cord did that in vain. Spectrum also increased the price for its 100 to 200 Mbps internet service by $5/month. A good thing about the brand is the quick & responsive spectrum customer service that aims to please. If you have any further inquiries feel free to contact them!
Applicable from February, according to their website, prices for Optimum TV packages will be going up by $20 to $30/month.
Although, Altice claims that this increase will be for new customers only and their existing customers do not have to worry about it because they have a monthly bill cap of $14.50 for existing customers.
However, the Broadcast TV fee will go up by $2.50/month and the Regional Sports fee will go up by $1.50/month. Altice blames the rising programming costs for this hike but promises that it is working on improving its services and network coverage.
Being with the largest cable and internet provider in the country cannot save you from price hikes either. Comcast customers took the hit back in December. Basic TV prices went up by $5/month whereas the Broadcast TV fee increased by 50%.
Internet service prices saw a similar increase by prices going up by $3/month.
AT&T was not going to stay behind in the race of price hikes. Since January, DirecTV as well as AT&T TV prices have increased too, going up to $8/month depending on the plan. Depending on where you live, Regional Sports fees have gone up by $2/month as well.
Except for the Broadcast TV fee increased by $2/month, depending on the location and plan you are or will subscribe. A plus about AT&T TV is that it offers over 40,000 videos on-demand along with live TV. It also brings almost 4500 apps like Netflix to you in one place to stream, which is cool. You can record up to 500 hours of your favorite shows in the cloud storage and go about your daily routine as well!
Alright, enough with the bad news. Just like every other cloud, this one has a silver lining too. There was a new law passed which would be enforced in June. It requires TV companies (satellite and cable) to disclose all taxes, fees, and surcharges upon sign up so that you do not get any surprises on the first bill. Services can also be canceled within 24 hours of signing up without any penalty, and you cannot be charged for any equipment that you are not using anymore.
So if you have been considering canceling your cable service and signing up for a streaming service to use over your internet connection keep in mind that their prices have increased several times over the past year too. In addition, they provide fewer networks and channels than before and are not regulated by many laws like the cable companies.