As cord cutting becomes more prevalent, pay TV heavy hitters Comcast, Dish Network, and DirecTV all plan rate hikes in 2019.While this will provide more revenue for Comcast, Dish and AT&T, it provides another reason for consumers who are considering leaving cable and satellite.
This is nothing new. Pay TV providers normally raise rates in the new year, passing down the cost of subscriber fees for various broadcast networks, regional sports networks (like the Fox Sports and NBC Sports RSNs) and other networks. Plus, higher rights fees to broadcast live sports have to be passed down to consumers as well.
Comcast plans to raise its regional sports fee by an average of $1.50 a month and its broadcast channels fee by $2. Charter hiked its set-top box monthly fee by about 50 cents and its broadcast channels fee by a dollar.
DirecTV will raise its rates between $3 to $8 per month. Its regional sports channels fee will increase between $1 to $1.90 a month, depending on market.
Dish will increase its prices by $3-5 a month, while Altice Optimum subscribers saw their bills go up by 3%.
Consider this: the pay TV providers lost subscribers by 3.7% in the third quarter of the fiscal year, which was the largest drop ever. People are continuing to flock to Netflix and to streaming services like YouTubeTV, Sling, and Hulu Live. However, we’re not seeing them pick up the slack as fast as the drop in linear pay TV subscribers.
The cable and satellite providers have attempted to hold the line on increased fees from the networks, and we’ve seen carriage disputes just before the new year. However, the end result usually means higher fees across the board.
Even as cord cutting increases, the pay TV providers hike their rates. It’s a vicious cycle and for those who want to remain with cable or satellite, the hit to their wallets and purses is harder to take with each passing year.