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Comcast cable rates increasing
by Optimized 11:37AM Tuesday Sep 02 2003
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]."

»www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?news···7&rfi=6

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J D McDorce
Premium
join:2001-12-29
Westland, MI


1 recommendation

Wait a Minute...

said by »www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?news···7&rfi=6:
...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.

...

Comcast customers will only see the $2.50 increase if they have standard service. Limited service packages, which only include broadcast channels like CBS, NBC and ABC, will not increase, said Worley.
"Everybody Loves Raymond" is on CBS. What effect does Ray Romano's salary increase have on an increase in cable rates if the rates for local broadcast channels is staying the same? It sounds like another game of guess which shell the pea is under.

As for baseball stars, maybe The Detroit Tigers would be a winning team if (owner) Mike Illich realized that player salaries are subsidized by every cable television subscriber in the country. Then again, maybe not.
[text was edited by author 2003-09-02 20:15:10]

beerbum
Premium
join:2000-05-06
Reading, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Wait a Minute...

said by J D McDorce:
What effect does Ray Romano's salary increase have on an increase in cable rates if the rates for local broadcast channels is staying the same?
it's called must-carry.. basically a broadcast affiliate can demand, by federal law, that any cable company with a headend within so many miles of their transmitter (60 I think) must carry their channel. it is also legal for the parent networks then charge the cable company to carry their network.

so in the Philly area, KYW-3 can demand that Comcast carry thier broadcasts.. and since they are a CBS affiliate, CBS can in turn demand a fee.

basically it's "you must carry my channel, and oh by the way we want you to pay for it or else we cut you off"

blackmail 101

J D McDorce
Premium
join:2001-12-29
Westland, MI

Re: Wait a Minute...

Assuming that is the case and part of the increase is due to costs associated with must-carry, wouldn't that drive a higher rate for limited basic rather than expanded basic? If the rates are being increased due to increased costs to the cable provider, shouldn't that effect the packages with the increased costs?

beerbum
Premium
join:2000-05-06
Reading, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Wait a Minute...


limited basic is pretty much untouchable.. not only is it regulated partially by the FCC in what they can charge for limited basic, but any increase for that tier must be OK'd by each franchise.

another thing nobody talks about.. how many cable channels do CBS, NBC and ABC own? most of those channels are on the expanded lineups and more often than not those are where the fee increases are the largest.

If people wanted to really screw a MSO, all they need to do is get every cable subscriber to drop all services except limited basic service - no expanded basic, no digital cable, no premium channels, no Internet service - the cable companies would end up going broke because there is no profit built into the limited basic service.
systems2000
What? You Say It's Fixed. Hah

join:2001-11-29
Cyberspace

What???

quote:
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.
Why does the increase in "expanded service lineup" mean that there is "a 6 percent increase in their standard cable service"? If Comcast puts a "$2.50 increase" on my CATV part of the bill (which doesn't included "Expanded Services"), I'll cancel my CATV service and pay the "Blackmail" non-CATV charge. At $17.10, it's already too high and another $2.50 plus the additional associated TAX, puts it over the cliff for me.

J D McDorce
Premium
join:2001-12-29
Westland, MI

Re: What???

The full article notes the following:
said by »www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?news···7&rfi=6: :
A standard service package includes both the limited and expanded service options, and customers cannot get expanded service without first getting limited service because of federal mandates, he said.
The article indicates that limited service packages will not increase.

mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV
Reviews:
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·Comcast
i think they're talking about standard cable service not basic cable. Unless you live in the wilderness you are not getting standard cable (espn,espn2,espnclassic,etc) for $17.12 anymore. More than likely you are referring to basic cable (cn8,cbs,nbc,abc,fox,etc) and that is regulated by the federal government and your local franchise authority.

seaquake
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-23
Millersville, MD

Add to the list.....

Sounds like excuse numbers 4281, 4282 and 4283 from comcast as to why they are raising the cable rates yet again.

What pisses me off is I don't watch baseball and I sure as hell don't watch Raymond.
--
"Are you on the Distributed Computing Map?"

JTRockville
Data Ho
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-28
Rockville, MD

Re: Add to the list.....

Cox has an interesting approach to these ever-increasing costs.

Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1

Again?!!!

I just had a rate increase less than 6 months ago! I swear Comcast is trying to drive me to purchase a dish.

Well since I'll be moving into an area with DSL they might get their wish.