A report from the Federal Communications Commission finds that cable bills are continuing their price hikes, with the average monthly price for basic service rising 5.1% to $64.41 in 2012, reports Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times.
By comparison, the consumer price index rose just 1.6% during the same period. The study found that programming costs are driving much of the price hikes, with the price per channel rising 2.1% to an average of 48 cents per channel.
“Interestingly, in markets where the cable company had no significant competition the average cost was $63.03 in 2012 while markets with video options had average bills of $66.14 a month,” Flint notes.
He adds: “At the same time, the average price per channel was lower in markets with competition. In the markets without what the FCC defines as ‘effective competition,’ the average price per channel is 51 cents. In markets with competition, the price tag per channel was 45 cents.”
Satellite broadcasters DirecTV and Dish had lower per-channel costs, likely because their size allowed them to gain a pricing advantage, the story adds.