Comcast cable rates increasing
By: VICKI FISHER , Staff Writer 09/02/2003
Cable service prices will increase this year for Comcast Cablevision customers, but before you frown on your next cable bill, you might want to consider putting the blame on your favorite television and sports stars.
Comcast Cablevision customers will see a 6 percent increase in their standard cable service beginning Oct. 1. R. Thomas Worley, spokesman for Comcast, said the $2.50 increase is partially due to rising operational costs, which have increased 2 or 3 percent since last year. But the programming costs to run the channels on the expanded service lineup have increased 15 to 20 percent in the past year, he said.
Programming costs for cable companies to run network stations such as CNN, TBS and ESPN have increased partly because of the salaries of television and sports stars, Worley said. With baseball stars like Alex Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers making $252 million over 10 years and comedian Ray Romano of "Everybody Loves Raymond" receiving a salary increase from around $800,000 per episode to nearly $2 million per episode, it has cost cable companies more to carry networks with specific shows and sports games.
"We're pretty much at their mercy with those sorts of things," said Worley. "As a company, we're trying to do all we can to minimize [the programming costs]."