Comcast has started notifying customers and municipalities that it plans to raise video and Internet prices next month, including a whopping $7.35 a month increase for the Broadcast TV fee in one town.
Like other cable and satellite operators, the cable operator has increased its monthly rates at year’s end for several years in a row. Comcast last year at this time raised the price of the average monthly bill, including video, Internet and voice, by an average of three percent nationwide as well as raise the regional sports channel fee and Broadcast TV fee by as much as $7 a month.
In a letter sent last week to the city of Taunton￼, Massachusetts, Comcast said the Broadcast TV fee would rise from $18.65 a month to $26 a month, effective December 20, 2022. (Comcast says the Broadcast TV fee is based on the cost of providing local stations in your market.)
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In addition, Taunton subscribers will see anywhere from $2 a month to $5 a month increase in various video plans, including Choice TV Select and the Digital Preferred Tier plan. Set-top rental prices are also increasing there by $1.50 a month from $8.50 a month to $10 a month. Most Internet plans are also rising from $2 a month to $7 a month.
In several towns in Michigan, including Farmington, Royal Oak Township and Lothrup Village, customers have been alerted that the Broadcast Fee will rise from $14.80 to $20.70 a month while the monthly Regional Sports fee will go from $9.50 to $10.15. The Michigan residents will also get similar plan increases as well as equipment rate hikes as the Taunton customers.
In Sandown, New Hampshire, Comcast subscribers will see the Broadcast TV fee increase from $24.95 a month to $27.25 a month while the regional sports fee will go up just 15 cents from $11.85 a month to $12 a month. However, Sandown customers will also get roughly the same video and Internet plan increases as communicated to the Michigan and Taunton, Massachusetts residents.
In all three towns, the cost of an in-visit from a Xfinity technician (after installation) will increase from $70 to $100.
Comcast this evening confirmed to The TV Answer Man that the price increase is nationwide. Here is the statement from a Comcast spokesperson who said the average increase in all markets combined will be 3.8 percent.
“TV networks and other video programmers continue to raise their prices, with broadcast television and sports being the biggest drivers of increases in customers’ bills. We’re continuing to work hard to manage these costs for our customers while investing in our broadband network to provide the best, most reliable Internet service in the country and to give our customers more low-cost choices in video and connectivity so they can find a package that fits their lifestyle and budget. Our national average increase of 3.8% is about half of the most recent rate of inflation.”
In the letter to the Taunton city government, Patrick Shearns, Comcast’s senior manager of government and regulatory affairs, says the following:
“We are always committed to delivering the entertainment and services that matter most to our customers in your community, as well as exciting experiences they won’t find anywhere else. We are also focused on making our network stronger in order to meet our customers’ current needs and future demands. As we continue to invest in our network, products, and services, the cost of doing business rises. Rising programming costs, most notably for broadcast TV and sports, continue to be the biggest factors driving price increases. While we absorb some of these costs, these fee increases affect service pricing. As a result, starting December 20, 2022, prices for certain services and fees will be increasing, including the Broadcast TV Fee and the Regional Sports Network Fee.”
While it is true that programming costs have been rising for years, customers might have more difficulty with this year’s price increase due to the slowing economy and highest inflation rate in 40 years.
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What we have here is corporate greed masquerading as inflation! It’s the new pandemic!
Don’t blame the cable companies. It’s the publicity traded broadcasters that don’t want their revenue to fall. As more people cut the cord Sinclair, Nextar, etc charge the retailers higher and higher fees to carry their signals and by federal law a cable company cannot sell you anything until you buy the local channels. So you can’t opt out even if you can get the locals with rabbit ears. When that law was passed one company could only own 8 tv stations nationwide. Now it’s virtually unlimited. The easy fix is to have congress change the law so a customer could opt out of the local channels. It will never happen.
For months now, I have said if they raise the price by one penny I’m cutting the cord. T-mobile hot spot and Fubo.tv for more channels, recording and multiple device streaming for less money. Why not?