News Ticker

Pay TV Fee Hikes: Old Habits Die Hard

Cable and satellite ops can't stop raising our bills.

News Analysis
Dish yesterday became the fourth major pay TV operator to announce a price increase in their 2018 monthly programming packages for existing subscribers.

The increase by each operator is not dramatic, ranging from $2 a month to $10 a month for some plans. But the decision to raise consumer bills at this point should raise concerns about each company’s priorities, and sensitivities to changing conditions in the marketplace.

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Every major pay TV service is losing subscribers now due to everything from the explosion of cheaper online alternatives (Netflix, Sling TV, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.) to the increase in cord-cutting to sub-par customer service.

But the underlying cause of all three reasons — and other reasons that could be cited here — is that the cost of pay TV is too damn high. Although some pay TV services have launched lower-cost plans in the last year or two, when you add equipment fees, broadcast fees, Regional Sports Network fees and a host of other inexplicable fees, you are still paying far too much.

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Some operators say their average customer now pays around $100 a month, just for video service.

However, instead of listening to what their defecting customers are saying about escalating monthly bills, the pay TV operators are moving forward with even more fee increases.

Why?

Because it’s what they do. For the last several years, the major cable and satellite operators have increased their programming packages by roughly 3-7 percent a month, although the hike has exceeded the rate of inflation each year. The annual pay TV fee increase has┬ábecome as certain as death and taxes.

The pay TV services say the increases are needed to offset the rising cost of buying programming from the networks. But the consumer doesn’t care. He or she just knows that the bill is going up again.

With so many programming options online now, the pay TV ops can’t get away with it anymore. They will take another subscriber hit this year, and the next year, and the next year, if they keep raising prices.

That will soon become as certain as death and taxes, too.

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— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (1134 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

3 Comments on Pay TV Fee Hikes: Old Habits Die Hard

  1. Mo money! (Repeated 7 times). With wireless everything on the horizon (5G), it should be interesting to see what packages can be had for a song (Pluto TV anyone) and when the real pain is felt by the providers. The Grim Reaper a cometh.

  2. They listen just as well as Congress has listened to the “middle class” by giving the wealthy and corporations a tax cut It’s all about greed

  3. NO one ever explains WHY the Pay TV Services DON’T tell the Providers, “ENOUGH” !! Customers will NOT pay MORE. The shows costs the SAME, RE-RUNS are GRAVY, then they RAISE Prices, ADD insult to injury and move the CALL CENTERS to Foreign Countries that do NOT speak English, or very little with NO knowledge of what we call about. and Give NO help. Got to give them some CREDIT: They are EXCELLENT at Pissing US OFF.
    DAAAAA !! These Providers are NUTS, and sit around and wonder what happened.
    What happened to “TRUMP’S PROMISE” he is going to bring JOBS BACK to the USA. ?? Was a great idea but went SOUTH.
    Same as the A-la-Carte PLAN to put Sports in a “SEPARATE Package” NEVER Happened.
    These are some Ideas to STOP Cord Cutting. But they are DEAF.

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