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Cable TV Prices Rising At Four Times the Inflation Rate

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the what-the-market-will-bear dept.

Television 286

An anonymous reader writes "A new FCC report (PDF) has found that U.S. cable TV prices are rising at four times the rate of inflation over the past two decades. 'Basic cable service prices increased by 6.5 percent [to $22.63] for the 12 months ending January 1, 2013. Expanded basic cable prices increased by 5.1 percent [to $64.41] for those 12 months, and at a compound average annual rate of 6.1 percent over the 18-year period from 1995-2013. ... These price increases compare to a 1.6 percent increase in general inflation as measured by the CPI (All Items) for the same one-year period.' Equipment prices rose faster than inflation, too. The report also found that the price increases weren't helped by competition — in fact, the prices rose faster where there were competing providers than in areas where the main provider had no effective competition."

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Wow, that matches (-1, Offtopic)

Bodhammer (559311) | about 4 months ago | (#47022427)

That is matching the rate of growth of government employees and their salaries. Who would of thought...

Re:Wow, that matches (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022513)

That is matching the rate of growth of government employees and their salaries. Who would of thought...

But nowhere near the rate of increase of medical costs since Obamacare has come into being, where we were promised we'd be able to keep our health plan, keep our doctors, and pay less.

Nope. Can't keep your plan - lied to. Can't keep your doctor - lied to. And health care costs have gone up more since Obamacare started then they did in the entire decade beforehand.

Obama and the Democrats CAN'T be THAT incompetent, can they? One would think Obamacare was DESIGNED to destroy healthcare in the US.

So, your insuranbce company (1)

publiclurker (952615) | about 4 months ago | (#47022763)

decides to cancel your plan and the first thing you do is scapegoat the black democrat. It would appear that they know exactly how ignorant and bigoted their suckers are.

Re:So, your insuranbce company (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022971)

I thought he was mulatto?

Re:So, your insuranbce company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022985)

Where is my $2500 decrease?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Re:So, your insuranbce company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023117)

ah yes, the popular argumentum ad racism fallacy.

Re:Wow, that matches (1, Troll)

bmo (77928) | about 4 months ago | (#47022779)

You're totally offtopic, but this needs a reply.

Obama and the Democrats CAN'T be THAT incompetent, can they? One would think Obamacare was DESIGNED to destroy healthcare in the US.

It was designed that way because it's a HERITAGE FOUNDATION design, which is why Romney picked it for MA.

For all of the "socialist policies" of Obama, he sure seems to be supporting the right-wing policies of his predecessor and think tanks.

--
BMO

Re:Wow, that matches (-1, Troll)

Bodhammer (559311) | about 4 months ago | (#47022995)

TFFY- http://prospect.org/article/no... [prospect.org]
Good try though, try some other talking points...

Re:Wow, that matches (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022595)

Where's my Obamacable?

Dubyacable was coupon-eligible converters (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47022961)

Don't you mean Dubyacable [wikipedia.org] ? The transition to ATSC expanded channel selection for most households without cable TV.

Re:Wow, that matches (-1, Flamebait)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 4 months ago | (#47022657)

As a government employee who has had their salary reduced with forced furloughs every year, I'd tell you to go to hell...but our budget for all things has already been slashed and I can't afford the bandwidth.

Re:Wow, that matches (0, Flamebait)

Cryacin (657549) | about 4 months ago | (#47022727)

You're right. He should be more considerate. It's all about balance. Unfortunately, since the furlough's and cost cutting has been brought in, this delicate balance has been upset.

For example, the "Pushing paper to the left dept" has faced significant downsizing, and now must push double the pieces of paper to the left in a given day, as the "Pushing paper to the right dept" is of strategic importance to the "Defending the pencil holder dept". At this rate, there are two extra pieces of paper that must be moved according to government procedures and standards exactly one inch to the left, and there are now only 30 people left in this area to perform this arduous and highly important task.

At this rate, we will be drowning in paper by the year 2045 unless something is done immediately! Think of the children.

Re:Wow, that matches (5, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 months ago | (#47023045)

That is matching the rate of growth of government employees and their salaries. Who would of thought...

You are stunningly misinformed. In fact the percent of Americans who are public employees is the smallest it has been since 1968 [theatlantic.com] .

It makes you wonder where people get these ideas and why they feel so free to spout off without knowing anything. We have google, where is the disconnect coming from?

Re:Wow, that matches (5, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#47023181)

That is matching the rate of growth of government employees and their salaries. Who would of thought...

You are stunningly misinformed. In fact the percent of Americans who are public employees is the smallest it has been since 1968 [theatlantic.com] .

It makes you wonder where people get these ideas and why they feel so free to spout off without knowing anything. We have google, where is the disconnect coming from?

Fox news, Sean Hanity, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, a million Facebook posts about evil socialists taking jobs and voting Tea Party is the way out etc. Fox news is number one rated and tens of millions listen to right wing radio. They really believe that 50% of Americans all are welfare queens who make $45,000 and get free iPhones which they call Obama phones. Members of government believe the hype too which is why they are so anti Obama.

Better service though... (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 4 months ago | (#47022449)

The report also found that the price increases weren't helped by competition — in fact, the prices rose faster where there were competing providers than in areas where the main provider had no effective competition."

True, but it notes right in the article that 'expanded cable' is basic + the most subscribed to package, and in areas with competition that the extra $3 buys you more service on average in competitive areas. IE if people get a better deal they're willing to buy more.

Unclear in the article would be the effects of FIOS service, which is even more tightly bundled with internet services than traditional cable.

Re:Better service though... (5, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | about 4 months ago | (#47022581)

The truth is there are a lot of cable cutters. The basic subscription is only to get a break on Internet. DSL and basic phone service is the same thing. My home phone has no long distance plan at all. It is redundant and expensive compaired to my Cell or VOIP which include all of US and Canada as a local call.

WIth Netflix, Hulu, etc, unless you want the sports package, why would you even have cable at all, other than to get a break on the Internet package.

Intenet without basic TV is often higher in price or not offered at all, so the basic TV added is close to zero additional cost.

I've cut Cable TV long ago. I'm not an armchair quarterback.

When working nights, and infomercials plug up the daytime TV, there is little to watch, except on Netflix. TV seasons, science, etc shows can be watched at your convience commercial free. Cable companies hate that. To keep profits up, with cord cutting, they soak the sports junkies that need real time program delivery.

Re:Better service though... (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 4 months ago | (#47022701)

WIth Netflix, Hulu, etc, unless you want the sports package, why would you even have cable at all, other than to get a break on the Internet package.

Just a guess, but to see current non-broadcast television shows (e.g. Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Walking Dead, etc), sporting events on channels that aren't dedicated to sports (e.g. NBA on TNT), television and financial news talking heads (e.g. MSNBS, CNN, Fox News, etc), plus any shows that you don't want to wait months, years, or never to see on Netflix, Hulu, et al.

Re:Better service though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022975)

Mad Men and Walking Dead are both on Netflix. Game of Thrones will never be, because it's owned by someone how hates cable cutters and has publicly said as much. He'd probably shot himself in the foot before letting Netflix show GoT.

Re:Better service though... (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#47023103)

plus any shows that you don't want to wait months, years, or never to see on Netflix, Hulu, et al.

One interesting side effect of my cheapness is that I've fallen so far behind on TV shows that they are all new to me when they hit Netflix. Because I don't see the commercials, I don't even know about current shows, let alone miss them. I hear about shows a little from co-workers and friends, but honestly TV just doesn't unite the culture like it once did - there are far too many choices for everyone to be watching the same show.

Re:Better service though... (1)

ah.clem (147626) | about 4 months ago | (#47022721)

Agreed. Dropped TWC almost 4 years ago, only have Internet (which might come with some television channels but never cared to look). Still too damn much money, but no other serious option. Netflix and Amazon with a Roku for films are good options (as long as it's a Roku 3 - Amazon and Roku seem to have broken the delivery on the Roku 1 and 2 but of course, that is just my experience and opinion - Netflix is great with a Chromecast, I sure hope Amazon and Acorn get added to Chromecast so I can toss these Rokus to Goodwill) and I pay $5 a month for Acorn.TV - a good selection of British television shows shown without commercials. I won't give Hulu a dime as they charge a subscription fee then *still* toss in commercials - but I guess a lot of folks will put up with that - Hulu apologists always remind me of the "little bit pregnant" line; in any case, not a lot to see in American television shows in any case, IMO.

Re: Better service though... (1)

Brennan Pratt (3614719) | about 4 months ago | (#47022775)

Hulu is essentially IP television. Sure they're double dipping getting ad revenue and subscriber fees, but its still a step forward from fixed schedule garbage television.

Re:Better service though... (4, Insightful)

UPZ (947916) | about 4 months ago | (#47023037)

I finally cut the cord last month. I missed TV for the first week, but since then it has turned into a very liberating experience. Now when I come home from work, I have time left to do other things, including chatting with friends and family, working out, volunteering, and becoming more politically active :-) You could not pay me to go back to cable.

Re:Better service though... (2)

msauve (701917) | about 4 months ago | (#47022717)

Not just that, but 40 years ago, basic cable wasn't much more than a community antenna offering better reception of OTA channels. No CNN or MTV or HBO (well, they're technically 42 years old, but had maybe 10,000 subscribers then).

more money - less quality (5, Interesting)

OutOnARock (935713) | about 4 months ago | (#47022453)

The quantity of programming has increased with the prices

......yet the quality of programming decreases......

so (quality/quantity) * price is constant?

Re:more money - less quality (2)

Ignacio (1465) | about 4 months ago | (#47022563)

Nope. A bit of research will show that it is in fact logarithmic. There are obvious diminishing returns once you realize that there are five or six channels showing the same episode of the same show at the same time.

Re:more money - less quality (5, Informative)

mc6809e (214243) | about 4 months ago | (#47022573)

The quantity of programming has increased with the prices

......yet the quality of programming decreases......

so (quality/quantity) * price is constant?

I have a friend at BrightHouse Networks.

According to him (and I suppose he could be lying), it's the price that the content holders are asking that's driving up prices, especially ESPN.

He tell's me that ESPN gets about $30/customer in an all or nothing deal.

Re:more money - less quality (2)

mc6809e (214243) | about 4 months ago | (#47022669)

He tell's me that ESPN gets about $30/customer in an all or nothing deal.

Sorry. That's wrong.

The $30 figure is the amount each actual viewer of ESPN would have to pay if they were forced to pay for it themselves, but ESPN doesn't allow that.

Re:more money - less quality (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022815)

The mind boggles that people spend so much money to watch some guys throw a ball. I don't want to live on this world any more.

Re: more money - less quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023011)

Wait till your mind learns how much money they pay said individual to throw said ball. Your mind will s'plode.

I don't watch any sports of any kind for this reason alone. Not about to contribute to that silliness.

Re:more money - less quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023149)

I remember listening to the TechStuff podcast about cable cutters, lack of "a la cart", etc. ("Is Cable Hanging By a Thread" Sep 4, 2013), and they discuss how the cable business works. IIRC, for ESPN it's something like $6 per subscriber and that all the folks that don't watch the channel basically subsidize those that do.

Quick Googling shows $5.54/subscriber according this NPR page on Sep 27, 2013:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/09/27/226499294/the-most-and-least-expensive-cable-channels-in-1-graph

Re:more money - less quality (1)

alen (225700) | about 4 months ago | (#47022931)

it's $35 per customer and it is the content guys driving up the prices

netflix pays out 75% of revenues for content

Re:more money - less quality (3, Insightful)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 4 months ago | (#47023141)

I really wish cable/satellite would adopt "Chinese Menu" pricing for their mid-tier, and allow people who don't care about Disney*.* or ESPN*.* to pay the same price, but substitute HBO and/or Showtime instead (ie, pick two out of four... Disney, ESPN, HBO, Showtime... 3 for $10 more, all 4 for $18 more). I believe it would mostly be revenue-neutral for the cable/satellite companies, and would go a long way towards softening the sting of my monthly cable bill by letting me substitute two channels I don't currently pay for, but would LOVE to get instead of two expensive blocks of channels I never watch.

Question ... (2)

MacTO (1161105) | about 4 months ago | (#47022469)

Has there been a corresponding increase in service? By that I mean the number of channels delivered for the given tier, since cable companies usually pay the broadcaster a certain rate per channel.

(I don't subscribe to cable, so I don't know how things have changed over the decade since I've left home.)

Re:Question ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022521)

Yes, we can now watch the same advertising on 300 different channels.

The rate is meaningless (2)

freeze128 (544774) | about 4 months ago | (#47022653)

The rate is meaningless because since 1995, cable companies had to upgrade their system from analog-only to digital, and then also be able to support HD, develop and implement cable-card, develop and implement voip, develop and implement on-demand services, mobile apps, etc.

All of those things don't have an industry set price, so they pass the price onto you, the customer.

Re:The rate is meaningless (2)

mbkennel (97636) | about 4 months ago | (#47022747)


Since 1995 auto manufacturers have had to upgrade all sorts of technology, and so have web service providers. And yet....

Re:The rate is meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022937)

Yup. Cars cost double what they did in 1995, and I used to be able to get a Whopper for 0.99 on sale, and now the best they can do is 2 for $5. This is not unique to cable. Everything is 2-3 times more, with few exceptions. This is the same reason for the push to raise the minimum wage.

Re:Question ... (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 4 months ago | (#47022683)

There's actually a row in the results table that more or less answers that question: "Expanded basic price per channel."

That value only went up 2.1%, which is still higher than inflation but not by nearly as much. In other words, more than half of the cost increase from expanded basic came from content additions.

Easy solution (1, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | about 4 months ago | (#47022475)

Don't pay for cable. There really isn't much on cable tv worth watching that can't be obtained through other legal sources.

Re:Easy solution (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 4 months ago | (#47022633)

Live sports is tough to find on other sources. Otherwise I would cut the cord in a heartbeat.

Re:Easy solution (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 4 months ago | (#47022679)

It depends on the sport. I'm a nerdy sports fan (we exist!), I split the cost of the Intarweb add-on for NFL Sunday ticket with a friend of mine who has the complete package. My ISP gets me ESPN3 which has a lot of collegiate sports, TNT is doing free streaming of the NBA playoffs, and if you're a basketball fanatic the NBA has pricey online packages that would still come out to far less than you'd pay for a cable subscription. For everything else I have an amplified antenna in my attic hooked up to a HDHomeRun. About the only thing I'm missing is ESPN, and if there's ever anything truly compelling on that, it's off to my local sports bar for a decent dinner and some beer.

Re: Easy solution (1)

VTBlue (600055) | about 4 months ago | (#47022883)

Holy shit my HDHomeRun Prime is just sitting in a box cause I don't have cable. I never thought to use it for just OTA. I'm an idiot.

Keeping up with sports without cable is easy (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 4 months ago | (#47022941)

If you want to watch it live, you go friend's house or restaurant/bar to watch it.

Otherwise you watch ESPN after-game highlights which shows all the pivotal moments of the game in 5 easy minutes.

Sports is part of the problem... (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 4 months ago | (#47023079)

For those of us who don't watch sports, sports programming is a large part of the cost of cable, and I can't get just the channels want a la carte... everything is in tiers that cram sports into the mix.

Re:Easy solution (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#47023081)

Live sports is tough to find on other sources. Otherwise I would cut the cord in a heartbeat.

AM radio? Seems that it covers just about everything you might want, and then there's always shortwave if you can't find it.

Re:Easy solution (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#47023111)

Get yourself some young kids and a wife with irregular hours at work... you'll completely lose track of sports :)

AT&T land line (4, Interesting)

dfsmith (960400) | about 4 months ago | (#47022517)

I want to know how come my telephone line has gone from $7/month in 1997 to $32/month today, with no change in service.

Re: AT&T land line (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 4 months ago | (#47022579)

Maybe because less people have landlines these days, so ever subscriber pays a greater share of the infrastructure costs.

Re: AT&T land line (3, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 4 months ago | (#47022753)

It's that and a general decline in long distance usage/profits. Before deregulation [wikipedia.org] the bulk of the profits for telephone operation came from long distance, to the point that local infrastructure and usage was essentially subsidized by long distance. Post-deregulation competition quickly drove down profits, and more recently VoIP and other non-POTS communication methods have further erroded profits.

The end result is that the bulk of the cost of POTS has been shifted on to local; you now pay for the cost of your infrastructure rather than the long distance "whales." Which arguably is how it always should have been, however POTS (and callers) benefited from the network effect so much that POTS likely wouldn't have been as successful if every subscriber was paying their own infrastructure costs from the start.

Re: AT&T land line (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 4 months ago | (#47023133)

the 'Whales' wouldn't have anyone to call otherwise, however.

Re:AT&T land line (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 4 months ago | (#47022597)

Gotta love all the surcharges. Especially the ones that the company says the government tells them they can charge (but doesn't have to).

Only data-based landline I have is internet. Don't care how many worthless bundles they throw at me.

Re:AT&T land line (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 4 months ago | (#47022603)

I want to know how come my telephone line has gone from $7/month in 1997 to $32/month today, with no change in service .

I think that's your problem right now. If you're sitting there getting increasingly screwed by AT&T over the cost of their telephone service since around 1997, then why the hell are you still with them? What are you waiting for, the two-decade mark?

Then again, the same could be said of cable TV subscribers. They've been getting reamed for decades, they know they're getting fucked, but they keep bending over more and more every time the company raises their already ridiculous rates. I never even hear many complaints anymore, people are just so damn used to the prices going up. But they never tell the cable companies to go fuck themselves and take their business elsewhere, to an entertainment provider that has more fair pricing and service. So the cycle continues... indefinitely.

Re:AT&T land line (1)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about 4 months ago | (#47022755)

You probably live in a big city with actual choices. In my small town, I have ONE CHOICE for cable TV, and ONE CHOICE for internet, unless you count satellite or wireless options. In order to tell them to get screwed, I have two choices: One choice is to do without. The other choice is to pay more for even crappier service. I don't use cable TV, but I do spend way too much for a 10 meg internet connection simply because I have no choices.

Re:AT&T land line (1)

mc6809e (214243) | about 4 months ago | (#47022783)

You probably live in a big city with actual choices. In my small town, I have ONE CHOICE for cable TV, and ONE CHOICE for internet, unless you count satellite or wireless options.

And why shouldn't we count satellite and wireless?

I use Fios for internet, TheDish for TV, and I have a cell phone tether plan when I want to use my laptop on the road.

I agree that satellite internet access is probably a mistake unless you have no choice, but a 4G access point or tethered cell phone is really impressive for something that's wireless.

I routinely got 10Mbps and sub 100ms ping times while staying on a horse farm in the middle of no where.

Explore your options and force providers to compete.

Re:AT&T land line (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#47022851)

You can't use something like Netflix over 4G. At least, not more than a few shows. Even crappy Comcast service gets you 250-350GB.

Re:AT&T land line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022949)

My cell provider issues 500MB of monthly bandwidth. The highest package available is 1GB a month, and $15 per 300MB after that. 4G anything is not an option in my area.

Re:AT&T land line (1)

skipkent (1510) | about 4 months ago | (#47023087)

I use T-Mobile 4G, and we use it as our ISP at home, we added a line and just use a phone as a wifi hotspot. I get roughly 25mbps of unlimited unthrottled usage. All https and streaming services work even after the "hotspot" quota is reached. Also for general http browsing once the tether max has been reached, use linux FF or have FF identify itself as the linux version, and tmo will think that youre browsing from your phone! Just about the only thing its bad for is gaming with the higher latency.

Re:AT&T land line (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 4 months ago | (#47023189)

> And why shouldn't we count satellite and wireless?

Satellite is broadband for the damned & desperate.

Re:AT&T land line (1)

dysmal (3361085) | about 4 months ago | (#47022825)

$32/month? Hells bells! I dropped AT&T for my landline 5 years ago and bundled it with my cable internet provider (TWC) because i was paying $48 with taxes and all of the usual rape'tastic fees per month for basic local landline service. I would have been HAPPY with $32/month.

Re:AT&T land line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022969)

pffft. A land line? What century is this?

Please don't tell my you need it for 911.

Re:AT&T land line (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023169)

In states like Florida and California, it's because AT&T (as BellSouth & PacBell) convinced the state regulators to let them raise fees by ~$10/month to pay for fiber that ultimately ended up going almost exclusively to their wireless customers after AT&T bought them. BellSouth in Florida was actually chugging along and mostly on-target to be capable of delivering 100mbps to the most urban 80% of the state by 2010 (with enough capacity to let motivated customers pay a higher installation fee to get outright gigabit fiber), then AT&T took over and almost completely pulled the plug on new U-verse build-outs. For more than a year, AT&T literally didn't bring a single new neighborhood in Florida online for U-verse. It didn't really end until a reporter from some newspaper (Tampa's, I think) started to comb through the documents AT&T was officially filing with the Florida PSC, did "ground truth" research to see what AT&T *really* had there, and discovered that almost all of the neighborhoods AT&T claimed were newly added to U-verse were actually just a fiber drop to an AT&T cell tower and a vacant concrete pad for an undeployed VRAD.

Re:AT&T land line (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#47023199)

How much is long distance compared to 1997? Used to be long-distance users were subsidizing everyone else's phone bill.

1980 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022523)

basic, plus hobo, movie channel, and showtime, and usa g-men network, mtv (simulcast on FM-over- the-cable for stereo), tbs, cnn, lifetime was a health channel, and so on, all for

$20 american

'member the showtime oriental exercise girl, all hot and sweaty?

In the future... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022531)

There will be 5,000 channels and absolutely nothing to watch.

Outside of the baby boomers generation most individuals in my age bracket (28 here) gave up on cable/satellite television due to hyper-aggressive advertising policies, price gouging, and providing little to no value over services that frankly the internet does a better job of. It is simply undesirable to watch/use in favor of essentially anything else.

Re:In the future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022643)

Your age bracket? I'm 41 and I've cut cable almost a decade ago.

Let's pay in Bitcoin then (0)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 4 months ago | (#47022539)

With Bitcoin or better, DogeCoin, you won't feel the 4x rise. Now if only there were a cable company willing to accept my computer-generated cash...

Content (1)

Vantage (167852) | about 4 months ago | (#47022569)

This price increase is cause by the cost of content going up several hundred percent.
Tell the content creators to lower their prices and cable companies could too.

As it is, Content creators charge what they want for their creation. As is their right.... Cable companies charge what it takes to make money over the top of that.

Unlike consumer electronics, somethings get more expensive over time, not less.

They aren't done yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022625)

With the recent FCC ruling concerning fees for faster content delivery the cable companies will be making even more soon.

Re:They aren't done yet (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#47022677)

Maybe.... The cable companies may end up having to sink a lot of money into their networks in order to deliver on the faster content delivery contracts.

FCC Must Finally Enforce the A La Carte Provisions (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022655)

When we were all forced to move from Analog to Digital Television both over cable and over the air the promise that the FCC gave was that more local programming would be available over the air and that Cable Companies would be forced once and for all to provide subscribers the ability to pick and choose their own channel lineup.

Well If you are like me when Digital happened the Analog over the air tv stations that I use to get were not broadcasting strong enough digital signal to get to my home which is 50 miles away from the nearest tower.. and no i do not live in Iowa or the Nevada Desert I live in Delaware which should get me Philly New Jersey and Maryland stations that I use to get....

So my only choice is Dish or Comcast.
Comcast boxes are DIGITAL and comcast can control which lineup is sent to each and every box whether it is a large or small set top because they all work like network devices.

The Technology has been there for a few years now.. We were forced to no longer be able to get Analog over the Air and if we want ANY TV we must Pay.

A La Carte rules were suppose to allow me to pick each and every station THAT I WANTED TO PAY FOR...

I don't want to pay for 70 stations when I only watch 10 and out of that 10 i primarily only watch 3

I want (NEED) the News.. I want Sports with Nascar, baseball, hockey and I want Discovery.. the rest i almost never watch but maybe I would get 5 more for a single show here and there that I like.

If comcast wants to throw in Shopping channels or CSPAN or whatever else for free FINE
and I should get all the Local Channels that Analog once gave me for free.

WE WERE FORCED TO BUY BOXES AND NEW TVS WITH THIS PROMISE
I DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR GARBAGE THAT I DO NOT AGREE WITH OR LIKE

AND THAT WAS THE AGREEMENT! FOR THE HUNDREDS OR THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WE ALL SPENT TO UPGRADE

I want 10 channels and I want to pay $15 a month.. that is more than enough...
Let someone with 5 kids get every channel in the world I DO NOT WANT OR NEED THAT

I want Internet WITHOUT CAPS.. If i pay for 3Mbit or 10MBit or 25Mbit then I WANT ALL OF THAT 24/7

and i want out of this paying for 60 stations that I never watch.. BECAUSE THEY STILL GOT COMMERCIALS ON THEM.. AND I HAVE TO PAY ON TOP OF COMMERCIALS??????

Re:FCC Must Finally Enforce the A La Carte Provisi (1)

KillDaBOB (206494) | about 4 months ago | (#47023147)

You either have a crappy antenna for OTA channels, or you live in a crappy, hilly part of the country. I live in an area where I can pick up over a dozen OTA channels (3 channels of PBS, 2 or 3 NBCs with local news/events, 2 ABC with local news/events, etc. I just have to point the antenna in different directions) The farthest station is 70+ miles away; I would bet you need to replace your antenna to get your "lost" OTA stations back.

Cha-ching! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022665)

Just wait until they can sell us internet access a la carte too!

So Thats the New Meme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022667)

Competition increases consumer costs. How unexpected.
Can we have our monopoly now? Its good for you.

inevitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022671)

Capitalism and the markets demand exponential growth in a finite world, so you either find an ever increasing customer base or you rise prices, problem is just about anyone who wants broadband now has it already so there are minimal customers left to gain the only thing left is constantly raise prices above inflation, bonus if you are the only provider then you can raise prices with impunity.

until the "markets" come to terms with market saturation things wont change

Re:inevitable (2)

mc6809e (214243) | about 4 months ago | (#47022705)

Capitalism and the markets demand exponential growth in a finite world,

No they don't. They're just somewhat efficient collective resource allocation systems.

Exponential growth appears to be a requirement because populations grow exponentially.

If an economy can't keep up with the exponential growth of population, then there is less produced per person.

Cannot wait for al la carte (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 4 months ago | (#47022673)

... till then my cord remains cut.

TV completely not needed (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 months ago | (#47022691)

Said it before, I'll say it again. The worst thing the cable company ever did was refuse to give me free TV with my internet. Been well over five years now and I am more productive and lively. Sure, there are some shows I like. I can watch them online when I want to see them. I don't need TV for anything. Let them raise rates until they fail. We don't need them.

Re:TV completely not needed (1)

Vantage (167852) | about 4 months ago | (#47022735)

One day they will just stop offering video and they will become profitable again.

Re:TV completely not needed (1)

schnell (163007) | about 4 months ago | (#47023027)

The worst thing the cable company ever did was refuse to give me free TV with my internet.

WHY the hell would they do that? They pay lots of money for those TV channels. You would not be paying them any money for them. Why, from their perspective, is that bad?

Maybe did you mean that was the best thing they ever did, since your life is more "productive and lively" with no TV for the last five years?

Re:TV completely not needed (1)

antdude (79039) | about 4 months ago | (#47023083)

What about sports like NBA? :P I agree. OTA+Internet FTW.

Which inflation rate? (1, Troll)

7-Vodka (195504) | about 4 months ago | (#47022723)

Anytime you talk about inflation, you have to be cognoscente of the fact that every government on the planet lies about it.
Their deficit spending, fiat currency, crony capitalism for the elite depends on it.

Look at Venezuela for example [zerohedge.com]

Or the US of A. [shadowstats.com]

I'd be willing to bet that if you price cable services in terms of real assets like oil, gold, silver, food, energy or even a subway ticket in NYC it would be a different picture, averaged out over the long term.

If you're taking the government's figures on inflation I've got prime ocean front real estate to sell you in beautiful New Mexico.

How do you tell if the government is lying?

Their lips are moving (or they've typed something out).

Re:Which inflation rate? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022903)

I'd be willing to bet that if you price cable services in terms of real assets like oil, gold, silver, food, energy or even a subway ticket in NYC it would be a different picture, averaged out over the long term.

Is you serious, nigger?

Weaning myself off cable (3, Insightful)

spirit_fingers (777604) | about 4 months ago | (#47022773)

I've been weaning myself off cable in stages. Six months ago I realized that I wasn't watching Starz enough to justify the $40/month charge, so I dropped it.

Now I'm coming to the realization that I watch Hulu+ and Amazon Prime as much if not more than cable, so now I'm on the verge of cutting my cord to Comcast and just steaming through my pokey old AT&T DSL line. It's not quite fast enough for a 1080p stream, but it looks acceptable to me at standard def on my 55" plasma. So there you go. Comcast has just priced themselves out of my life.

We should be able to buy the box with no outlet fe (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 4 months ago | (#47022791)

We should be able to buy the box with no outlet fees like how it is in canada.

Yes in the usa you can get a cable card but on some systems like comcast you only save $2-$3 mo over a box due to there high outlet fees.

Kodak Moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022807)

Big Cable never stood a chance, the Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs will win and Big Cable will lose...

Who pays for cable? It's all crap. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022831)

TV, and Cable TV, is crap.

And... (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 4 months ago | (#47022877)

it's mostly crap, with ads.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022919)

The prices of cable are exactly why I don't have cable TV. I'm not a big sports guy, so I was never interested in having the sports package for the games, etc. I can understand why some people enjoy that but for me personally, it's just not my thing. As a result, it was easy (borderline obvious) to take a step back and really see what I was getting out of cable TV.

So I get a series of TV shows that get put on at random times based on whatever the provider decides. I know DVRs are available but, no thanks. I don't keep track of show times to know when to set what to record or anything like that. I just know when I am able to sit down, I want to watch xyz item. That's it. Likewise, these programs run for (on average) half hour slots of time, where nearly a third of that is simply commercials. I'm already paying for the service, yet commercials are littered all over the place in an effort to pay for revenue.

I hear what some people are paying for cable TV and it makes my stomach churn just thinking about that monthly bill. I'm quite happy with my Netflix/Chromecast setup, although that may inevitably change when/if (but mostly when) this laughable merger goes down and streaming prices skyrocket.

In other news, Comcast was recently calling me on a frequent basis to sign up for cable TV. After a lengthy discussion about prices and an endless array of butting heads, the rep actually asked me what I would want to pay for TV service and he would see what he could do in terms of matching me to a package. I sincerely sat back and really put into deep thought what I value cable TV as. I don't mean a "well I'd like to pay a dollar" type thing, but I mean what I truly valued cable TV at. Given what sort of TV shows I would actually watch and the massive array of commercials, I concluded 18-20 dollars would be a price I would likely sign up for cable TV at.

Needless to say I haven't had a discussion with Comcast about signing up for cable TV in quite a while.

A great (and true) saying: (4, Funny)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 4 months ago | (#47022929)

"90% of Everything is Crap".

This applies to everything, including cable TV.

The remaining 10%? Well, 90% of that is crap too.

A great (and true) saying: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023161)

To be fair, 90% of the 10% left of the remaining 10% of the original 90% is crap too.

Re:A great (and true) saying: (2)

vandelais (164490) | about 4 months ago | (#47023191)

But what if it's Scottish?...

Hedonic adjustments (1)

nmos (25822) | about 4 months ago | (#47022939)

They obviously forgot to do the hedonic adjustment to account for the larger screens people are watching on.

Hedonic adjustments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023065)

No, you don't get it, cable inflation rates is the real rate of inflation.

The real rate of inflation, for things people need, is four times higher than the BS 1 or 2 percent per year that the BLSD pomulgates.

Look at real food prices lately? Cost of education, of medical care???

Real inflation is 5-10% a year. see http://www.shadowstats.com/

Anyone who pays that much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022983)

to watch TV Just makes to damn much money or has rocks in their head.

Not surprised (5, Insightful)

finalcutmonstar (1862890) | about 4 months ago | (#47023003)

Cable tv is loaded with useless channels that the consumer is forced to pay for. Channels that most consumers never watch and/or never heard of come with the package and contribute to the cost of monthly access. Cable providers will never allow the consumer to pick what channels they want so the only solution is to cut the cord and subscribe to services like Netflix and Hulu. The other(not so legal option) is to torrent your favorite shows.

Re:Not surprised (3, Insightful)

EvilSS (557649) | about 4 months ago | (#47023153)

Cable tv is loaded with useless channels that the consumer is forced to pay for. Channels that most consumers never watch and/or never heard of come with the package and contribute to the cost of monthly access. Cable providers will never allow the consumer to pick what channels they want so the only solution is to cut the cord and subscribe to services like Netflix and Hulu. The other(not so legal option) is to torrent your favorite shows.

The majority of the blame for bundling goes to the networks actually. They force bundles onto the cable companies, the cable companies then turn around and pass those bundles on to their subscribers. It also doesn't help that they all compete on how many channels you get as a selling point for the consumer (so blame the viewers a bit for being stupid as well). I wouldn't be surprised if a good chunk of those rising prices are due to the networks as well. They are addicted to the fees they are getting from pay TV services. Just look at the carriage contract fights that have been popping up more and more lately.

The whole damned industry from producers to the cable companies is a rapidly getting out of control and it's just going to get worse. Allowing mergers between cable companies and content providers was a huge mistake and it's going to end up biting everyone in the ass eventually.

Broadcast is dead (1)

norite (552330) | about 4 months ago | (#47023077)

$7.99 per month for netflix, $6 per month for a proxy server so we can watch BBC iplayer and stream live BBC TV...we never even bothered with cable; we haven't even got a digital aerial.

You don't miss what you don't have in the first place :-)

Especially the ads :-D

Obamacable (0)

Trachman (3499895) | about 4 months ago | (#47023101)

Tens of millions of those without cable will get access to affordable quality cable through the marketplace. Over half of thous without cable Americans can get free or low cost cable service using their State's Cable Providers Marketplace. You can't be denied from coverage when you get sick or make an honest mistake on when you talk to operator. You also can't be denied coverage or television for being lazy or charged more for being lazy. You can't be charged more for being a woman either. Small businesses can get tax credits for up to 50% of their employees cable television installation costs, assuming employers allow to watch obamacable at work at least one hour a day. Young Adults can stay in parents house and watch cable free until they turn 26. 82% of adults without cable will qualify for free or low cost cable. ObamaCare helps to curb the growth in cable spending. Your Obamacable bill will be cheaper than cable bill

Re:Obamacable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023137)

Clever.

Local Governments equally culpable (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 4 months ago | (#47023123)

http://www.wired.com/2013/07/w... [wired.com]

Deploying broadband infrastructure isn't as simple as merely laying wires underground: that's the easy part. The hard part - and the reason it often doesn't happen - is the pre-deployment barriers, which local governments and public utilities make unnecessarily expensive and difficult.

Before building out new networks, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must negotiate with local governments for access to publicly owned "rights of way" so they can place their wires above and below both public and private property. ISPs also need "pole attachment" contracts with public utilities so they can rent space on utility poles for above-ground wires, or in ducts and conduits for wires laid underground.

The problem? Local governments and their public utilities charge ISPs far more than these things actually cost. For example, rights of way and pole attachments fees can double [fcc.gov] the cost of network construction.

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