Cable One Blames $5 Rate Hike On Program Costs

MSO Said Some Content Providers Want 45% Hikes In 2014 2/05/2014 9:16 AM Eastern

Cable One has blamed a $5 monthly increase in rates for standard and economy cable packages in January on rising costs for programming.

The Sun Herald news site, operating in Cable One territory in Southern Mississippi, reported the January increase and the text of the notice sent to customers in December and January: "At Cable One, we are committed to providing our customers with the best TV programming at a reasonable price and we make every effort to minimize costs. As you have seen from recent negotiations, we are doing all we can to ensure you don't suffer unfair price increases as a result of unreasonable demands from channel programmers.

"In the past three years, local broadcast stations and cable networks have increased their rates by an average of 40 percent. In 2014, more than 35 local TV stations and cable networks will again increase their rates -- some by as much as 45 percent.  

"As a result, effective with the January 2014 billing period, our economy and standard cable rates will increase by $5 per month. Current customers who are on a promotional rate are excluded from this increase during the term of their promotion. We value you as a customer and will continue to provide you with the latest products and technical advancements, while maintaining the highest level of reliability and customer care."

Cable One's programming renewals last year included one with Turner Broadcasting that came only after more than three weeks of outages of such services as TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network, and the cable operator (720,000 subscribers) claimed Turner wanted a rate increase of more than 50% for its channels. The cable company, which operates in 19 states, also signed a new pact with AMC Networks that came without any disruption in service. More recently the cable firm announced broadcast-station retransmission renewals, including with Journal Broadcast Group