Analyst Says NBC Universal-Comcast Union Will Make Cable Prices Rise Faster

Now that NBC Universal and Comcast have sealed their civil union to become NBCUniversal — isn’t it adorable how she took his name? — it will presumably soon be time for subscribers to give the company its wedding gifts: Higher cable rates.

An analyst who isn’t exactly making the boldest of predictions tells Home Media Magazine that the merger will continue to accelerate the rise of average cable prices, which have more than doubled since 1995, soaring from $22.35 to $49.65.

Says the analyst, from bill negotiating service CBSaver:

“Cable prices have been spiraling out of control, well outpacing increases in other household goods. We are talking about 100%-plus growth in the cost of cable in past decade and it is has only just begun. It really is a David vs. Goliath situation.”

How much do you pay for cable, and how much would you pay before you cut the cord?

Analyst: Comcast-NBC Universal Merger Will Accelerate Cable Price Increases [Home Media Magazine via High-def Digest]

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  1. nbs2 says:

    I think if Cable went up another $3-5 we would walk away. As it is, we are paying about $2/month. I’m not sure I would be comfortable paying much more than $5.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      Okay, I’ll bite: $2 a month?

      • nbs2 says:

        It’s the overage that we pay. I don’t have the bill in front of me (the missus handles the bills), but the numbers are something like this:

        Internet alone – $60
        Bundled internet – $45, Bundled cable – $17

        If we dropped cable, our internet rates would jump by almost as much as our cable bill is. Out cable rate is for the ultra, super, mega, hyper-basic package, consisting of the locals, CSPAN, and local access. I think we might get something like Ion too, but I’m not sure.

        The rate for the bundle used to be the same as internet alone (internet has held, cable used to be $15). Originally, we were thinking we would drop once we had to pay a premium, but we realized the cost of an antenna and install would be more than the few years of cable that we’re paying until we move (I have my eyes on moving in about 15-18 months). At $5/m, I think we’d just live without solid reception for the locals.

    • coffeeculture says:

      Thank goodness I cut the cord 4 years ago, I pay $55 for FiOS, $9 for netflix, and maybe $10/mo buying misc things on itunes. That’s ~$75/mo vs. $110/mo on my old Cox bill…which is probably $120-130 now because this was 4 years ago.

  2. smbizowner says:

    no cord, no cable or dish here.

    one indulgence is netflix

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      That’s a limited time offer – they’ll shove you back to cable once your ISP gives you an outrageously small data cap.

      • progrocktv says:

        Exactly!

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        I’ve got a data cap on my internet, and yea. It’s a pain. But we use the internet as a supplement to OTA, so we can get in several hours a day of streaming before we hit the cap. Do you really need to stream 8-12 hours of content in a day?

        • NotEd says:

          What if you have multiple people in the household that want to stream different things? Then that cap can really impede your Netflix/Hulu or whatever viewing.
          For example, we have 2 Rokus in my home. Plus one of us with stream off of Hulu everytime they are home working.
          I don’t really know how much average data we use a day, but I am happy I have yet to see signs of any cap on my home service.

          • jason in boston says:

            Business Class.

            I have business class with Comcast and it isn’t that bad. And only $3 more a month (all things considered).

            I’ll clear 750 gigs a month with everyone at my place. I also allot a segregated open wi-fi access point that anyone can use with DD-WRT. QOS was a pain to set up, but now I don’t have to think about it.

  3. seth_lerman says:

    I’m currently on a 2 year deal of basic cable (if 200 channels is considered basic, no premiums), Internet (including the optional OptimumBoost service) and phone for $70. With 2 CableCards and tax my bill is $77.79 per month. Have 11 more months at this rate so we’ll see what happens.

    This is what Cablevision offered me last year when my DirecTV contract was expiring.

  4. james.c.obrien says:

    This brought to you by the University of “No Sh*t, Sherlock”.

    • katarzyna says:

      +1. Can I get paid for analysis like this?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Moronic response. You don’t really know this for certain. This guy crunches numbers, while you sit on your couch being an internet jockey. You know because others like him told you.

      • james.c.obrien says:

        The fewer competitors in a given market space, the higher price those goods or services can be sold for. Given that, in a capitalist system, corporations sole (and legally-mandated) purpose for existence is to maximize shareholder earnings (read:profit), the only gravitational force exerted on prices in this scenario will be upward.

        I know because I have degrees in this stuff…but I will not refute your “internet jockey” accusation. My browsing history will confirm my jockey-ness.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      Yeah. Also, I need to point out that I have four times the channels I did ten years ago, and my cable internet is probably ten times faster than it used to be six or seven years ago, for the same price, when taking inflation into account.

      • OtakuboyT says:

        Depends an where you live, where I live we are paying more and getting fewer channels from Kabletown.

  5. Robofish says:

    If cable kept going up we would probably cut it, and just keep the internet. Though I’d miss A&E, history and Discovery.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I’ve never had the Science Channel before, and now I want to watch it every day.

    • Burzmali says:

      You may still get Discovery if you cut down to the most basic cable. Our basic cable plan includes HD versions of the networks and somehow still includes TBS, Discovery, Altitude (local sports channel), Bravo, and a few other channels. We didn’t have the HD package when we had the digital cable, so it was almost like an upgrade when we went down to basic.

  6. TakingItSeriously is a Technopile says:

    We have satellite ATM … This month we are cutting off. It’s gotten to be too much

  7. skapig says:

    I swear NBC/Comcast told us that this would benefit consumers and increase competition. Why can’t you people just take their word for it?

  8. bite back says:

    A mega-monopoly stifles competition and leads to price gouging?
    You don’t say.

    In other news: water remains wet while in a liquid state.

  9. JoeTheDragon says:

    Time for all a cart

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t see how carts could help us watch TV. I mean, I guess we could push each other around and re-enact a police chase.

    • Scurvythepirate says:

      *À la carte

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      We’re going to put them all in a cart and wheel them over a cliff?

      Or do you mean a la carte, as in “according to the menu?”

    • kc2idf says:

      Do people put their TVs on carts anymore?

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        I tried that. My cart had wheels, too. But that cable kept me from moving it around the house as I had planned.

        Now, I understand why people are cutting the cable.

    • ARP says:

      Doesn’t work. Some channels subsidize others and will end up costing more. Meaning, if you want IFC, you’ll probably need to pay $15+ per month due to low subscriber bases. Also, channels like NBC/Comcast often force Service Providers to carry all their Channels and pay them more. It goes like this:

      SP: We’d like to carry NBC for $1B a year.
      Comcast: How about you take all our channels for $5B per year?
      SP: No thanks, we just want NBC for $1B
      Comcast: Sorry, its a package, you need to buy them all if you want NBC.

  10. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    We just upgraded to the lowest digital tier (and that’s still 200+ channels) for $50. The customer service rep even threw in some random discounts to bring our bill down.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      I tried to get FiOS to do that, but since they already know I’ll pay whatever for the Internet, they refuse to open the vice.

      If only their tubes weren’t so free of dump trucks!

      • jason in boston says:

        But look at your picture quality on Fios. When I had it, there was no need to torrent. The price was fair for the tv package I received. The quality was literally better than what I could find through other means.

        I am disgusted with the over-compression of cable and am embarrassed whenever I have friends over to watch any sports. Maybe it’s time for an damn antennia?

        • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

          Oh, the picture quality is amazing. I just save a buttload of cash by occasionally buying shows on BLOO-RAYZ or watching on Netflix.

          I’m pretty much a non-sports fan, so that doesn’t hurt, either.

        • vastrightwing says:

          But free OTA has better picture than even FIOS and OTA won’t rip you off with contracts and higher prices later.

          • jason in boston says:

            FIOS has contracts? Inside of 128 (Boston Metro area), I don’t remember ever paying an early termination fee.

            Lived in 2 different places with FIOS – price was exactly the same for 2 1/2-ish years. Competition with Comcast is great.

            And can I watch Spartacus over the air? Nope. There is still some content that I would like to pay for. However – being in a Comcast only town now, there is no way I would ever pay for over-compressed content that is only on cable.

            FWIW, I just ordered an antenna on newegg today :)

        • HeroOfHyla says:

          Picture quality doesn’t matter for me as all I have is an old standard definition CRT TV.

  11. FireJayPa says:

    Someone find a way that I can just pay for the channels I want.

    All I want is ABC, FOX , ESPN, ESPN2, HBO (Boardwalk Empire) , HGTV, History Channel , Discovery Channel and A&E. That’s all I need – 9 channels. Not 100 or 200.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      If you find out, will you tell me too?

    • Doncosmic says:

      If your getting Espn and HBO, you might as well get all of them, getting rid of the ones you don’t want won’t change your bill much.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        True. ESPN is about $4 a month of your bill, no other (non-premium) content provider charges more. And you pay ESPN whether you watch it, or not.

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      I’ll sell you that service, but it’ll cost you $90 per month. That’s $20 for HBO, $20 for my delivery infrastructure, and $50 for the other channels. I have to charge a lot for each channel for a couple of reasons.
      1. Just like you’re no longer paying for channels you don’t watch, no one else is either. That means the people who don’t watch your channels are no longer subsidizing them. Channels that used to cost $.50 now cost $5 or more.
      2. When people saw the higher prices of a la carte channels, they decided that it’s not worth the price to pay for the channels they used to watch infrequently. That cost those channels advertising revenue, and they had to make up for it in carriage fees. I’m not running a charity here, so I had to pass that extra cost on to you.

      End result of a la carte pricing is a minority of customers will save money, but it’ll be a lot less than they expected. Others will pay more or about the same, but everyone will get a lot fewer channels. Most will give up channels that they used to watch. All will bitch about the cable companies taking away a huge percentage of their content without giving an equivalent percentage back on the bill. Little did we know, our viewing habits are already priced into carriage fees.

      • vastrightwing says:

        Oh that is so scary! NOT! All of this is meant to scare people. But consider that in the past, networks didn’t charge anyone anything, except maybe the affiliates re-broadcasting the major network signal. This scenario you mention is all FUD. Sure, many niche channels will go away because they won’t be able to make money from ads. Fine. The ones that appeal to the masses will continue and they will change their programming back the way it used to be before all the fragmentation occurred. This fragmentation occurred because of the packaging. Put another way, cable packages will go back to some more sane level (20-30 channels), and it will appeal to the masses. Niche programming will move to IP/tv or youtube. There is nothing scary about that. The people who should be scared are the content distributors. They are the ones who will loose out on this. Personally, I don’t care. I’ve already dropped out. I’m back to 15 local OTA channels. It’s too rich for me to subscribe to 200+ channels I don’t care about for more than $8/mo.

  12. Blueskylaw says:

    “Analyst Says NBC Universal-Comcast Union Will Make Cable Prices Rise Faster”

    I guess that makes me an analyst because I figured that out as soon as I heard about the merger (remember Ticketmaster?)

  13. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Of course it is! They have no reason to let Netflix continue to undermine their user base so instead of making their cable packages affordable, they’ll just cap everyones internet usage and raise the cable rates to “make up the difference.”

    Though of course, if the company execs took even a measly $1m pay cut, oh how much money could they save? I don’t know. Hmm.

  14. Marlin says:

    I pay $0

    Free over the air digital FTW

  15. kc2idf says:

    Adjusted for inflation, that initial price of $22.35 would be $32.00 today.

    The cable companies will claim (and correctly) that they have made many times more channels available. They will also claim (incorrectly) that this adds value.

  16. dolemite says:

    My cable seems to go up about $5 per year. One year it went up twice in the same year.

    Currently (once I’m off my “deal”), I’ll pay around $125 a month for 6 mb internet, digital starter package and dvr. Which is pretty insane to me. IMO, a fair price for all of that would be around $90, which is what I pay due to my current “promo” rate.

    I’d cut the cord today except the wife won’t let me.

    • kc2idf says:

      Ah yes. My neighbour at work and I have discussed this from time to time. It’s called the “spousal acceptance factor”.

      He is getting ready to cut as T-W just jacked the TV rates. Again.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        That’s the reason I believe David Katzmaier failed: His wife was pissed.

        Diary of a cable TV cord cutter:
        http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20022909-1.html

        Me? My wife is happy I’ve slain the cable monster, and she doesn’t have to pay every month for the rest of eternity for TV.

        Cost:
        Antenna system, 6 rooms connected: $70
        2 converter boxes for older TVs, $10 each after coupon (Sorry, guys, there’s no more coupons!)
        Media PC, rebuilt 2.3 ghz – $ 150
        Netflix subscription, $9 (the only recurring expense we have)

        Savings, ~ $900 a year. Why pay more for TV?

      • baquwards says:

        We weaned off cable. Once we decided to do it, we started changing viewing habits, no more getting hooked on shows that wouldn’t be available OTA, using netflix more. Around that time, I started building a more robust computer for the TV, one that could easily handle HD (the old one struggled), could be controlled via remote control, and served as a DVR.

        This approach made cutting the cable virtually painless. The last couple of weeks with cable, we hardly watched cable at all.

        We are saving $105 per month. We had no premiums, but we did have HD DVR, 4 boxes (Uverse needs a box for each TV).

    • Ragman says:

      Me too. Had to get her True Blood fix in, even with me preordering seasons as they came out on DVD. I’d like to cut the landline and video package, but we make enough that we can afford it. It would probably take another job loss for her to let me cut them out, but I really don’t want to go that route again.

    • Twonkey says:

      Mine went up 90 bucks in the span of a year. They just kept adding fees and raising prices until I told them I had enough, and to bite my ass.

  17. Xyjar says:

    I cut the cord at $50/month. Haven’t even missed it. It’s internet services prices I’d be worrying about rising; can’t really live without internet.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Me either, since I work online now. Also, all of a sudden I’m getting a lot of “buffering” on Netflix where it wasn’t before. I think my ISP doesn’t like that I’m watching more of it. So much for getting a Roku box. Why buy one if it’s not going to work?

    • Caswell says:

      Haven’t had cable TV service for a year now. Use an OTA antenna into a TV tuner in my PC to record network shows and feed them to my two media center extenders.

      You get over the loss of you 200+ channels. I’ve still kept up with Dexter, just not at the current pace (I’m on season 4 on DVD via NetFlix). To be honest the only pain I’ve felt was during college football bowl season, realizing that all but a couple bowl games are now shown on ESPN. Next year I’ll just use my parents’ ESPN3.com login to watch.

  18. HeyThereKiller says:

    I’m paying around $110 for a triple play with an HD-DVR, but I split it three ways so it’s not that bad.

    I’m a TV fiend, so there’s very little chance that I’ll cut the cord anytime soon… or at least not until Microsoft figures out its Xbox ‘cable’ service.

  19. skwigger says:

    Cable isn’t a necessity. Let them raise rates and put themselves right out of business.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      It isn’t a necessity, but neither are 90% of the things on here that people are upset over price raises, either.

      You don’t NEED much besides food, water, shelter, and some medicine occasionally. But life sure isn’t fun without a bit more.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      i agreed. not only do people not need it, it has a negative impact on people who do have it.

      I do miss the foodnetwork…

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        How so? I live a well-rounded life. I read a lot, I hang out with my friends, I have volunteer work, and I don’t spend a lot of money outside of food and shelter. I don’t see how having television is automatically negative.

  20. progrocktv says:

    I’m just waiting for the form letter that Comcast will be lowering it’s basic internet price but is capping data at 10GB a month with $10 per GB over and spin this by saying this is “good news” by giving us some BS that those of us “normal Joe averages” would RARELY hit that cap (even though everyone would go over it anyways since Comcast would send “dummy data” to keep the bandwidth flowing even during no internet activity. Not to mention this would also eliminate all of the Netflix/Hulu users as well as) THEN they’d go ahead and raise the cable rates. Little do they know people would STILL probably cut the cord.

    • PunditGuy says:

      That would be enough to drive me into the waiting, incompetent arms of Qwest.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      I do nothing but watch netflix. my data is only 5GB a month. Even when I”m not watching it, it’s running and I”m listening to it when I”m in the kitchen.

      This is 6pm-11pm mon-friday and let say all weekend long.

  21. jason in boston says:

    $0. Media server with legal files on it. Coupled with Hulu and Netflix, and BBC iplayer when the VPN is working, and there is no need for cable.

  22. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    I pay the same for basic cable + internet as I would for just the internet. If the cable price were to rise at all…. SNIP.

  23. mike says:

    As if cable needed a reason to raise rates.

  24. Rocket80 says:

    Let them go up – I’ve been dying for a reason to put me over the edge and cancel my cable.

  25. Sunflower1970 says:

    Seriously, this is a surprise how..?

    I’m thisclose to getting rid of cable. But live **&*#)_)_%* sports keeps us from cutting the cord. Husband has to have his sports. We’d save a bundle by not having sports. Heck. He really only likes baseball. We could subscribe to Netflux and MLB.tv and pay a lot less than we do for cable.

    Really frustrates me.

    • yurei avalon says:

      Tell hubby to go sit and watch it in a bar somewhere when he wants to see a game? I imagine buying a drink or two while watching the game works out cheaper than paying the obscene rates for cable.

      Well, if we’re talking football anyway. With the number of baseball games they play, I could see that getting expensive real fast. :(

    • SteveinOhio says:

      If a la cart happens, I think sports will lead the way. I could definitely see one of the 3 major leagues rolling their own channel and making it available everywhere for a monthly fee. Kind of a Hulu for their sport. They have the ability to produce their “shows” already, and the internet has removed distribution as a barrier.

      I think there are a lot of us who would be more than happy to pay only for sports instead of the cable it comes on. $50/month = $600/year for cable. I’d be willing to give half that to the various sports leagues to have every game available and none of the useless clutter that comes on cable. I dream of a world where the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA get together and create their own uber-channel lineup that I could sign up for for like $20-30 a month and get every game. If such a thing existed, there wouldn’t be a room big enough to keep all the money they’d make.

  26. Zelgadis says:

    Easy. Get rid of your cable. You don’t need it. I promise. I gave it up during a bout of unemployment years ago and when I could afford it again, I no longer wanted it.

  27. Burzmali says:

    Our cable bill got up to $150 with internet. We called and threatened to cancel altogether, so they put us in a promotion to reduce it to $99. We then cut down to basic cable (20+ channels, no box required) and internet a week later. With the promotion, that put our bill at about $47 total (taxes, fees, and all). That will only last for 6 months, when the promotion runs out. By then, maybe we’ll be looking elsewhere for our internet and just say goodbye to TV altogether. We watch way more Netflix than anything else.

  28. mischlep says:

    Especially if Comcast/NBCUniversal follows the way of Bell Canada and lowers internet caps.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/01/canada-gets-first-bitter-dose-of-metered-internet-billing.ars

  29. vastrightwing says:

    I was paying $85/mo. for satellite. Today I pay zero. Although, I pay Verizon $39/mo for internet.

  30. akronharry says:

    I pay around 14-15 a month for broadcast basic with Time-Warner in addition to internet fees.
    With Brodacast Basic I get NBC,CBS,ABC,PBS (2 of them), Fox,ION and some of those channels have HD channels. The most exciting part is I also get 4 religious channels, 2 Hispanic channels, 5-6 shopping channels and “Movies on Demand ” Channel.
    Bottom line is if I had a real choice and if I did not live in a valley, I would just get an antenna.

    I have a blu-ray player and connected NetFlix to it for 7.99 a month and watch the normal channels when needed.

  31. Santas Little Helper says:

    I currently pay about $18.00 for comcast basic cable and it’s a joke. I only watch History and Discovery, if it goes up 1 more cent I am out, Internet only and I will pirate or buy the shows I like. There was a time when basic cable was $10.00 and that seemed reasonable, but now, forget it. Just one more penny comcast, and we’re through.

  32. BurtReynolds says:

    My crystal ball says they will start putting the squeeze on internet subscribers rather than cable subscribers. Data caps, especially for the lower price tiers are how they can fight back against “cord cutters”, Netflix, and torrents. That and jack up the price for standalone internet subscribers who refuse to play into the “triple play” bundles.

    With that said, I would still cut the cord tomorrow if I didn’t have someone else in the house who liked watching cable. I could find the one show I watch (Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia)somewhere on the internet and Netflix would fill in the rest. My free time isn’t what it used to be, so I actually prefer to play games on PS3 to most television options when I have the time to lounge on the couch.

  33. oldwiz65 says:

    The bill will go up for providers besides Comcast because they will have to pay double or triple to carry NBC Universal content. So even if you have Verizon or Time Warner, your bill will get a big boost since they will have to pay more to carry NBC.

    No one is commenting about how many people will be laid off due to the merger. How many thousands of people will be unemployed cause they work in a duplicate department? For example, what about the HR department? The merged company will not need 2.

  34. suez says:

    I’ve already walked away. In this economy, more and more people are realizing that cable is NOT a necessity.

  35. Spook Man says:

    Hey, why didn’t you write this when the MERGER was FIRST PROPOSED..

    Plus, it isn’t rocket science to figure out this would happen.. Geez..

  36. TheGreySpectre says:

    I pay $65 a month for cable internet. I don’t own a TV.

  37. Blow a fuse? I can fix that... says:

    Haven’t paid for cable since 2005, and these days I don’t even own a TV. I seem to be doing fine without, if I want to watch something, I pop a DVD into the laptop.

  38. duncanblackthorne says:

    I pay $128 total for broadband internet and “expanded basic” cable (no premium channels). So far as internet connectivity goes, I have no choice other than Comcast unless I move somewhere else. Even if I dropped the TV service I’d still be paying about $60/month, and have to pony up for an antenna on the roof so I could get the 4-5 local channels, and then presumably I’d be paying Netflix again every month, too. Life without internet access is not a possibility. Life without some entertainment, which gives me non-sleeping “downtime”, isn’t something I want to contemplate, either.

  39. Twonkey says:

    I pay nothing for cable now, but before I cut the cord I was paying nearly $180 bucks a month. My bill was half that when I first signed up the year before. That wasn’t for cable with all the bells and whistles either, it was for Comcast’s digital starter package and an additional HD cable box. In spite of the fact that I made no additions to my services in the course of that year, my bill steadily crept up until I could no longer stand it. And given how spotty service was during that year, and how lackadaisical Comcast’s customer service was when it came to addressing any issues that I had, I haven’t missed them one bit since I cut the cord.

  40. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Well, the joke is going to be on them. People are already leaving cable companies in droves for Netflix, Apple TV, etc… Raising prices further is only going to speed their demise. High speed internet can be had through other entities if they decide to put strict caps on internet. I have Clear and it works marvelously with no throttling or caps.

  41. dush says:

    If consumers would simply speak with their wallet and cancel their subscriptions we could bring these companies to their knees.
    Instead consumers continue to suckle at the teat of big cable while complaining how sour the milk is.

  42. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I cut the cord over 3rd years ago. Happy with my choice.

  43. jcargill says:

    Well, duh. That’s the idea: to screw us, not to serve us.

    They don’t do multi-billion dollar mergers because they love their customers.

  44. keepntabs says:

    Until 2008, I had Dish with the biggest plan they offered, local channels, all dish channels, all movie channels, international programming, and two HD DVRs. Back then that was costing me $115, but that was after discounts for bundling my Internet, home and cell phone. First we cut paying for local channels, the movie channels, and a lesser channel package when we saw how beautiful local HD channels were, took an assessment of which channels we actually watched, and realized that we only watched about 10% of the channels (and rarely watched the premium channels except for sports, because they played the same movies too frequently). That cut the bill to $80, but we were still dissatisfied with paying for so many bloat-channels. After founding online sources like Hulu, Fancast, Joost (R.I.P.), and re-subscribing to Netflix (and discovering its online service, which at the time was pretty lame), we cut the cord completely. We also canceled the landline and got Ooma Telo, combined cell phone plans with family members to reduce costs. We switched to AT&T U-verse, and our current plan costs $8 more than when we had a landline, but we received $400 plus free installation ($129 savings) when we tried out a combined package for one month, $44 cost. It will be a few years before AT&T breaks even on that deal. Luckily, broadband TV doesn’t have an early termination fee.

  45. PupJet says:

    I have Satellite and it’s probably a good thing I’ve stuck with them in the long run. Even though I am out of contract with them, they have only raised my bill once. I called them up and asked and they said it was taxes (which was true, I did check my bill) and from networks raising their rates slightly (which I wouldn’t be surprised).

    Either way, last time I cable (TWC), my bill was SUPPOSED to be around $80, but that was a crock because I was paying over $100/month. I finally told them to go shove it and if they attempt to hit me with an ETF because of their breech of contract (2 year price lock), they would never see it.

    They never charged me the ETF. LOL

  46. chaelyc says:

    I already pay too much for some of the crappiest Comcast cable I’ve ever had in my life. If the prices go up any more they’re going to lose subscribers like me.

    Comcast is fighting obsolescence with all of the wrong tools.

  47. Jimmy says:

    Interesting analysis when comparing to other “household goods”. If you’re comparing it to my groceries well then a box of pasta is still the same box of pasta was years ago. My table and four chairs is still the same size it was many years ago.

    I do however have much faster internet than I had years ago and alot more channels or DVR, On Demand…blah blah blah.

    Comare a service to a service or another utility.

  48. JeremieNX says:

    I am still pay-TV-free. I keep getting promos in the mail from Comcast (old roomie was a subscriber). In the Portland area, they now have promo pricing that goes for month 0-3, month 4-6, month 7-9, and finally month 10-12 before finally jacking up to “standard rates”. Granted, the prices in the first two “phases” were dirt cheap and not a bad deal, but I hate having to muck with billing/customer service to correct the inevitable skrew-ups (Comcast never once got the roomie’s bill right). If they would have just charged the average price between the four quarters of the “promo year” so I would have the same bill all year long, I might have signed up.

  49. NeverLetMeDown says:

    The tough thing is, the content costs are rising even faster. Between 2007 and 2010, Comcast’s content costs (i.e. the amount they pay to companies like Disney, Time Warner, News Corp, etc.) rose about 10%/year, while their average cable bill only rose about 4% a year.

  50. dwb says:

    This analyst seems like a whiner to me. A lot has changed in the cable industry since 1995 when cable bills were lower – and MTV was still playing music videos.

    Also – using the Consumer Price Index to adjust for inflation, $22.35 in 1995 has the same buying power as $31.98 today. So the average monthly bill hasn’t really doubled. Content is expanded, and has improved in my opinion, so a little more money is justified.