New Year, New Price Hikes
Comcast is ringing in the new year with a rate hike to the tune of 3.6% nationwide. The price increase spans a wide variety of services including broadcast television, local sports, TV boxes, and remotes. And, to capitalize on consumers’ move toward online streaming, Comcast is also increasing the price of high-speed internet plans.
What’s The Increase?
According to a Comcast PDF outlining new rates in Georgia, the price of a basic TV package will jump from $30 to $35. For broadcast TV, consumers can expect to pay 50% more for a total of $15 per month. Internet service will go up by $3 and the fee for a returned payment goes from $10 to a whopping $30.
In Philadelphia, Comcast will bill consumers $12.70 for broadcast television, a 54% increase. The regional sports fee for consumers in Philly is going up too: $8.75 for local sports (a 6% increase).
In addition to programming rate hikes, Comcast is also raising prices for equipment like broadband modems, TV boxes and remotes.
And, just when you thought you were saving money by switching to streaming services, Comcast will now hit you with the higher cost of its broadband plans. So despite the trend to cut the cord, Comcast’s broadband business is booming; the company’s net profits were up by 11.5% during the third quarter this year.
Comcast is not the only one raising prices. AT&T’s DirecTV customers will see major price hikes this month. Xtra and Unlimited plans will cost $7 more per month and fees for regional sports will go up as much as $2 per month. AT&T U-verse customers will also see an increase — anywhere from $3 to $7 per month. The broadcast-TV fee will also go up, depending on where you live.
Comcast released a statement explaining their move. “Rising programming costs — most notably for broadcast TV and sports — continue to be the biggest factors driving price increases for all content distributors and their customers,” according to a statement from Comcast. “While we absorb some of the increased programming costs, they have a significant impact on the cost of our services.” With Comcast’s net profits at $3.2 billion, it’s not hard to understand who is losing in this scenario: the consumer.
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