Comcast will raise the price of the average monthly bill, including video, Internet and voice, by an average of three percent nationwide in January 2022 as well as raise the regional sports channel fee and Broadcast TV fee by as much as $7 a month combined.
The cable operator last January raised prices by an average of 3.2 percent and raised the sports and broadcast fees by as much as $6.50 a month combined.
The 2022 price boost, which is now being communicated to Comcast’s subscribers, will follow similar recent increases by satcaster Dish, and streaming services such as Hulu Live, The TV companies say that prices must rise to offset the escalating cost of program acquisition. Pay TV operators must pay the networks and other content providers to carry their programming. (Hulu Live is adding Disney+ and ESPN+ with its price increase.)
“Content providers continue to increase the costs they charge us to carry their content, with broadcast TV and sports being the biggest drivers of price increases,” a Comcast spokesperson told The TV Answer Man. “We’re continuing to work hard to manage these costs for our customers while investing in our network to provide the best, most reliable broadband service in the country. Customers also have the flexibility to choose our industry-leading video platform with X1 or the highest quality streaming product with Flex, the only free streaming TV device with voice remote that’s included with broadband service.”
Comcast’s package price hike will impact subscribers who have one, two or three products from the company, such as video, phone and Internet. The fee for set-top rentals will also increase by $1-2 a month in some markets.
The Broadcast TV fee, which is based on the cost of adding local stations in your market, will rise by as much as $5.50 a month in some markets. The fee has been as high as $19.50 a month in some areas so a $5.50 a month boost there would put it near $25 a month.
The cable operator’s regional sports fee in 2021 has been as high as $10.75 a month so a $1.50-2 a month increase would put it near $13 a month in some markets. (Comcast subscribers who lost the MSG Networks in Connecticut and parts of New Jersey due to a carriage dispute last October will not see a regional sports fee increase.)
However, not every market will see either fee reach those levels. For instance, subscribers in Dewey Beach, Delaware will pay a Broadcast fee of $17.75 a month and a regional sports fee of $6.35 a month when prices rise. The rates are based on factors such as market size and the number of local and regional sports channels in each market’s lineup.
The Comcast spokesperson notes that subscribers who have promotional plans for video, phone or Internet will not see a plan increase until their agreements expire. However, their fees, such as the Broadcast TV and sports fees, will increase in January.
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— Phillip Swann