On the heels of the cable TV industry turning in its worst quarterly performance on record in terms of subscribers fleeing and cutting the cord, Comcast is pressing forward with one of the more familiar headlines we see out of the telecom giant. We’re talk about more price increases, of course.
Comcast this week unveiled its 2019 price increases on a list of plans — increases that mean some plans under Comcast’s Triple Play Package branding, for example, will cost as much as $215 a month ($2,580 over the course of a year) once the promotional offer ends. And that’s before you add fees and taxes on top of that, pushing the monthly and thus yearly totals even higher (Triple Play bundles include internet and phone service, and on the cheaper side they look to run about $155 a month now, again, before fees and taxes).
According to the website Cord Cutters News, some of those fees are also going up: “The Broadcast TV fee for networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC will go up from $8 a month to $10 a month. The Regional Sports Fee will go up from $6.25 to $8.25 a month beginning January 1, 2019. The start of a new year once again means a new price hike. This also comes as Spectrum recently announced a price hike in some markets.”
A full list of all new fees and packages from Comcast that go into effect January 1, can be found here.
It might seem like an odd approach considering the overall news in the industry, to consistently raise prices in a shrinking market which potentially exacerbates that shrinkage. As a Techdirt piece this week notes, “Like many cable operators, Comcast continues to slowly bleed cable TV customers to cheaper, more flexible streaming alternatives (aka cord cutting). The industry just saw its biggest ever quarterly loss of such subscribers in history, with Comcast losing 106,000 subscribers during the third quarter alone. It’s a trend that’s directly thanks to the industry’s refusal to not only compete on price, but flexibility and openness.”
As we noted in an earlier post, new data shows that the third quarter saw the most subscribers ever in a three-month period (more than 1 million) give up their cable and satellite TV packages. We’ve also reported recently on data from consumer research firm Leichtman Research Group, Inc., which found that the average cost that households pay each month for cable has gone up to $107, which would be almost $1,300 a year.