Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Cable TV prices have gone up so much that they now exceed most combined utility bills

Published Mar 10th, 2020 3:47PM EDT
Cable vs streaming
Image: Keystone-SDA/Shutterstock

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

  • One of the consequences of a growing number of consumers cutting the cord and going all-in on streaming TV is that cable TV companies end up raising prices on everyone else.
  • The cable industry is one of the most despised, and it’s partly because of a mixture of poor service and constant price increases. To get an idea of how bad things have gotten for cable TV customers, a new report breaks down the numbers to reveal that most people are actually paying more per month on average for cable than for all other household utilities, combined.
  • The report comes via, and we’ll take a closer look at it below.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

We’re pretty hard here on the legacy cable TV industry, for reasons that include the regularity of its price increases (with seemingly no regard for how attractive that makes less expensive alternatives look) combined with generally terrible service. As if all that wasn’t enough, though, the industry also keeps finding new ways to infuriate people, which only makes people all the more eager to cut the cord and run straight into the arms of an Internet-based service, leaving the troubled industry to keep searching for new ways to shoot itself in the foot.

If you needed another reminder about how the cable price increases have gotten out of hand, though, here’s one: A new report has found that the average household’s cable TV bill now exceeds all other utility bills combined in that household.

According to, if you take figures from publicly available sources like municipal utility providers as well as, Consumer Reports, and a mix of data sourced through third-party research, the average cable and other utility spending in the US can be calculated as follows:

Image source:

One reason this has become the case, and people’s cable packages have now gotten out of whack compared to what they pay for those other services, has to do with the recurring rental fee you pay to the cable companies for equipment — a fee that, you guessed it, also keeps going up. Along those lines, we reported last month that in addition to hitting customers with higher bills for TV service, Comcast is considering the possibility of an increase in modem rental fees. Additionally, there’s also speculation that Comcast’s Xfinity Secure bundle that includes Internet service and a modem, plus Wi-Fi and unlimited data, will soon cost more, as well. “Most consumers simply don’t know that they are renting a $50-$80 dollar modem from their cable companies for anywhere between $10-$20 a month,” the DecisionData report notes. “Purchase your own equipment and immediately start saving.

“For consumers looking to save money, the best place to start is by analyzing all monthly expenses and deciding where they can make cuts. The cable bill for most people will almost certainly offer some opportunity to cut costs. Take a look at your monthly bill and speak with your cable provider today if you have questions about how you can save money.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.