Prices increase for cable and satellite customers

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Prices are scheduled to increase over the next month for satellite and cable customers across the country, with some of those price hikes starting as early as Tuesday.

DIRECTV and Dish Network subscribers could see a $2 to $5 increase in their bills. According to its website, the monthly price for all U-verse TV service plans (with the exception of U-basic) will increase $3 per month beginning with bills received on Jan. 26. As for south Louisiana Cox Communications customers, a company spokesperson said pricing changes will vary based on service package types.

Like most satellite and cable providers, Cox attributes raising customer prices to what's happening in the nation's economy.

In a statement, Cox spokesperson Sharon Bethea sa quote: "Cox is a retail distributor of a wholesale product," Cox spokesperson Sharon Bethea said in a written statement. "The rising cost of what we pay national TV networks and local broadcasters to carry their stations and programs is the main reason for the video price increases."

The full release from Cox can be viewed at the bottom of this report.

Bethea said the company spends millions of dollars annually to major networks to get programming for customers and added those costs keep increasing each year.

An attempt was made at also contacting EATEL about the increases, but no one was available for comment.

With all of the constant changes, usually increases, in cable and satellite bills, Best Buy said more people are shying away from "traditional" ways of getting their favorite shows.

According to Chad Rosamond, supervisor of home sales at Best Buy, cable and satellite were the only options people had five or 10 years ago. He said they can totally bypass those now and use new technologies like Apple TV, Roku boxes and Smart TVs.

Not only are these devices convenient and simple to use, Rosamond said they're much more friendly on your pockets. He explained there is a one-time fee for the device or Smart TV, while monthly subscriptions to supplimentary programs like Nextfilx could be as low as $8, as opposed to monthly cable and satellite bills that often cost more than $100.

Full Statement from Cox:

The increased cost of doing business, especially the rising cost of TV programming, makes it necessary for Cox to adjust our rates.

Cox is a retail distributer of a wholesale product. The rising cost of what we pay national TV networks and local broadcasters to carry their stations and programs is the main reason for the video price increases. For instance, Cox has to pay hundreds of millions of dollars annually to TV networks (such as ESPN/Disney, NBCU, Viacom, Fox, etc.) to obtain programming for our customers and those costs continue to rise much faster than the rate of inflation.

Cox still provides the best value for your dollar with access to a huge library of On DEMAND content and new features like the Remote DVR Scheduler and the Contour app. Plus, Internet usage is doubling every two years and people are consuming more data than ever, but we continue to increase speeds, improve our network and deliver best-in-class Internet service. Overall, for just a few cents more per day, customers will continue to enjoy the best value for their dollar with Cox - especially those who bundle their services.

Cox is not alone in implementing price changes within our industry. Our competitors all have raised their prices in the last year and most have also announced rate increases this year.

Info on rate changes:

Residential customers will see an increase, but the actual increase varies depending on the type and level of customer, mix of products and other factors.

Special Pricing

We are sensitive to the impact these changes will have on our customers and the communities we serve. We offer programs to reduce the impact on the most vulnerable populations.

  • Through the Lifeline Low-Income Assistance Program, Cox offers eligible customers discounts on their telephone services. A brochure, which contains an application to complete, can be mailed to customers requesting Lifeline. The cost of Lifeline is only $8.99 per month.
  • Cox leads the way in broadband adoption programs that help close the digital divide for families in need. The Connect2Compete program offers families on the National Free School Lunch Program Internet access for only $9.95 per month.
  • We offer a wide variety of contracts and promotional opportunities to our customers. Due to the proprietary nature of our contracts we cannot provide specifics of our contracts and special offerings.
  • Across Louisiana, Cox offers a senior citizen discount of 30% off basic cable services. Customers who are 60 or older and earn less than $24,000 can apply at their local Council on Aging.

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