Cable Hikes Concern FCC

Oct 31, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The FCC has expressed concern of the rising costs of cable TV and the effect it will have on consumers, the Associated Press reports. “Companies are charging consumers more but consumers are receiving less,” said FCC spokeswoman Mary Diamond. “This is an unfortunate trend for families facing increasingly difficult economic times,” she added, citing the move of several analog channels to more expensive digital-only pricing tiers and how prices have more than doubled in the last decade, the wire service says.
—Sergio Ibarra

One Comment

  1. The FCC is really ignorant sometimes in making these blanket one sided comments. In many cases, CATV prices are comparable if not cheaper than Direct TV/Dish Network. The FCC needs to take aim at the programmers themselves that force cable companies to take programs sometimes that they really don’t want. For instance, ESPN forces cable companies to take ESPN 2, ESPN Classic, and ESPN News. The only way a cable company can deploy ESPN and receive the cheapest rates is to deploy all (4) channels, and of course, remember that ESPN generally charges a monthly per subscriber fee for each channel. The cost of ESPN alone is around $2.80 per month per subscriber.
    Using FCC cable subscriber numbers from 2000 (amazingly I could not find current or even 2007 numbers on the internet) that stated that there are 67.7 million cable subscribers in the US, and assuming that every cable operator in the US has ESPN, that would mean that ESPN makes nearly $190 million every month from cable subscribers or $2.27 billion every year and this is using subscriber numbers from 2000. Of course, this does not include the amount of money that ESPN makes from Direct TV or Dish Network or Telcos that have entered the CATV market.
    Just this week, LIN TV which operates a number of TV stations in several states came to an agreement with Time Warner to receive $.30 per month per subscriber (the LIN TV rep stated that they received what they had wanted) which according to the article that I read affects 1.5 million subscribers which would mean that Time Warner now has to pay LIN TV $5.4 million a year for receiving TV stations that non-cable subscribers receive for free using external TV antennas on their homes.
    It is no wonder that cable rates continue to go up based on the cost of programming fees that continue to go up on a yearly basis.

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