Augusta Economy

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Cable prices increase as national broadcast networks charge more

Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 7:33 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 12:05 PM
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Cable customers have started to see an increase on their monthly bills.

Knology of Augusta manager Abu Khan said many broadcast networks are charging higher carrier rates for cable companies to offer their channels for no reason.

According to Khan, the only ones benefitting from the price hike are networks like ESPN and NBC Sports Network.

“We adjust pricing each year as minimally as possible to keep our operations up to speed and to ensure our services are at the forefront of industry standards,” he said. “On the other hand, we believe broadcasters’ fees are unfairly high compared to providers’ standard annual rate adjustments. Networks reap millions at the cost of customers.”

Comcast also increased prices. Most of Comcast’s packages, including the ones for basic services, digital cable and ones bundled with Internet, rose between 4 and 6 percent. DirecTV’s rates also rose an average 4 percent.

Andy Macke, Comcast’s government and community affairs vice president, said networks such as ESPN continue to increase their programming costs. Rising gas prices also have contributed to higher operational costs, which is why even the most basic of cable packages – ones that air local broadcast channels only – had a rate increase.

Customers of Comcast’s limited-basic service now pay $28.65 in areas including Atlanta, a 23 percent increase from the year before. Those rates have gone up 165 percent since 2007, when they were at $10.83. For the Augusta area, the limited-basic rate remains $20.45.

“We do try to contain the rates as much as possible,” Macke said.

A call to Atlantic Broadband, which servces Aiken County, was not returned Friday.

“Consumers should understand how big networks make millions of dollars off their pennies, nickels and dimes,” Khan said.

WANT TO COMPLAIN?

Knology has set up reducefeesplease.com as a way for customers to voice opinions about increased rates, encouraging networks to rethink surcharges in future negotiations.

Comments (7) Add comment
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burninater
9397
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burninater 02/10/12 - 08:50 pm
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Increased rates for a service

Increased rates for a service that is probably, regardless of personal taste, 75% cr*p? With complete customizability of content available with streaming services, the cable tv model is a dead horse. I hope these companies are working on Plan B, because their service is very quickly becoming obsolete.

GaStang22
910
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GaStang22 02/10/12 - 11:52 pm
0
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They jack up the cable
Unpublished

They jack up the cable package price bad enough, but whats the reason for the sudden jump in the box prices? 2.95 to almost 9 bux for a basic box just for the kids to have cartoons in their room, and of course they dont offer that channel with a cheaper package either. Dirty ripoffs is all they are!!!!

raul
4613
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raul 02/11/12 - 01:21 am
0
0
Gave up the cable and bought

Gave up the cable and bought a 35 dollar TV antenna from Wally World. I get 7 channels and save a hundred bucks a month. Sweet. When you think about it, there isn't really that much on cable.Oh, and I read a lot more too.

southiegal
26
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southiegal 02/11/12 - 01:52 am
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We've been talking about

We've been talking about dropping Comcast lately, there is hardly anything worth watching, too many channels own by 1 which they show same 1's over & over, not to mention double 1's. If goes up again we will cancel.

curly123053
4569
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curly123053 02/11/12 - 09:27 am
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I dropped my cable and

I dropped my cable and replaced it with Dish. I am paying almost half what I was paying and my service has been just as good. The cable companies are losing customers at a fast rate due to the better pricing satellite offers. The cable companies are not concerned with being competitive with the satellite companies.

allhans
23546
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allhans 02/11/12 - 11:04 am
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Note the address above to

Note the address above to voice your opinion.

faithson
5136
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faithson 02/11/12 - 02:43 pm
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Want total practicability

Want total practicability with least cost: Digital over the air; best picture, 16 channels, most basic TV (FREE). DVD player with internet (netflix 7.99mnth) . Laptop hdmi interface for ESPN sports, CSPAN, Selected content. (ATT Uverse internet 48.99mnth 12download1up). KISS program; Keep It Simple Stupid. and if you have Verizon you can get 'connect home' for 19.99mnth for your home dialtone with unlimited long distance and no minutes off your regular plan. (drop your 'hardline') Anyway it works just fine for my taste, I get every thing I need for less than $80.00mnth.

raul
4613
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raul 02/12/12 - 01:46 pm
0
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@faithson. You pick up 16

@faithson. You pick up 16 channels free? What kind of antenna are you using. For some reason, I can't pick up Fox or the PBS channels. thanks.

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