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Cable Technology Feature Article

July 12, 2010

Comcast Announces Hike in Cable TV Rates

By Deepika Mala, TMCnet Contributor

From August 1, in some areas of the country, Comcast (News - Alert) will raise its cable TV rates by almost 4 percent. The actual hike will depend on the subscriber's slate of services. Some may see no change while others may have to pay their bill by double-digit percentages.
Some of the rates however will remain the same such as the fee for premium monthly channels, such as HBO and Showtime, will not change.
According to the Sacramento Bee, customers with a "digital starter" package of 80-plus channels now pay $61.99 per month. That rate will rise to $63.25 per month. Comcast's Internet customers in the affected areas will also see a price increase.
Josh Stearns, Free Press associate program director, issued the following statement:
“On the eve of the Federal Communications Commission’s public hearing on Comcast’s proposed merger with NBC Universal (News - Alert), Comcast reminds us that we have cause for concern about the impact of this union. When one company holds too much power in the media marketplace, consumers see higher bills, homogenized content and fewer viable competitors. If this merger is approved, Comcast will control one in every five viewing hours on TV.”
"We've continually invested in next-generation technology to support new product features, more programming choices and improvements to customer service," said Comcast spokesman Bob Grove in a statement.
The FCC (News - Alert) is holding a hearing on Comcast’s proposed takeover of NBC on July 13, 2010, from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. At Northwestern University Law School, 375 East Chicago Avenue, Thorne Auditorium, in Chicago, IL, 6061, the hearing is to take place, where the interested public is also invited to participate.
In related news, Comcast Corp, for the first time in five years has raised the charges for a cable Internet connection. Customers in Stockton, Manteca, Lathrop and San Joaquin County served by Comcast will see an increase of nearly 4 percent in their cable bills beginning September 1.

Deepika Mala is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny