The average price people are paying for cable has skyrocketed by 40% over the last five years, according to a new study from  Leichtman Research. In a survey involving 1,206 adults across the continental U.S., it was found that the average price people are paying for cable these days checks in at $103.10. By way of contrast, the average price consumers paid for cable in 2011 was $73.63.

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The following chart, via Cordcutting.comillustrates how the monthly cable bill in the United States has been trending upwards for years.

cable-bill-increase

In turn, it’s not surprising that the research also divulges that the percentage of U.S. households that have a monthly cable bill is 82%, down from 87% just five years ago.

Funny enough, it appears that The Onion’s classic story about how U.S. cable companies are just going to arbitrarily charge consumers $100 has essentially become a reality.

Offering no justification for the action aside from their own desire to do so, executives from the nation’s leading cable companies announced plans Wednesday to take $100 from every one of their subscribers.

Now as to why we’ve seen a marked increase in cable prices over the years, there are a few theories worth mentioning.

One, cable companies have become increasingly adept at luring in subscribers at very alluring prices and then jacking up the subscription costs 18-24 months later. Two, cable subscribers are now willing to pay more for features that were perhaps not deemed to be “necessary” just a few years ago, with DVR subscriptions and HD feeds being two prime examples. Three, as easy as it is to hate on big cable companies, some are offering users a lot more bang for their extra buck with respect to features like On-Demand and mobile viewing options. To that end, some consumers may not mind spending more because they feel like they’re getting more in return.

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