It’s been a busy year for price hikes with TV. So far the four largest cable TV operators have all raised their rates in 2023, including Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH, and Spectrum.
The higher cost of video isn’t isolated to just cable, as the price of, well, everything has gone up. On the streaming side, every subscription service has seen at least one price increase, with Disney+ raising its rates twice in less than 12 months. But with millions of customers each signed up with these pay-TV services, any increase is going to mean more pain for a lot of people.
Lets take a look at all of these new fees and TV price hikes on cable TV:
Back in January, Comcast announced that it would be raising the fees for its TV service. Comcast raised the price of its Broadcast TV fee to $31.25 a month on top of the advertised price. Not only that, but you will also find in many areas a $9.10 RSN fee.
This means Comcast is adding $40.31 to many of its TV packages on top of the advertised price. So that $70 Popular TV package that offers 125+ channels will now cost you over $110 a month once they add in the RSN and broadest TV fee.
This summer, Spectrum announced a $5 a month price hike on its TV plans. On top of the advertised price for the Spectrum TV package, you will now also find these fees. You will now pay $22.20 a month for broadcast TV channels in some markets and $12 a month for DVR service. Want the ability to watch your shows outside your home on your DVR? That will also now be an extra fee.
On Friday, DISH joined the other top four largest cable TV companies by announcing its own price hikes on its satellite service. DISH will now charge about $5 more a month on all packages. There will also be a jump in the late fee to $12 in all states except for Arizona, Maine, and Virginia. Dishish popular Top 120+ channels package will now start at $97.99 a month. The Everything Pack will now cost $142.99 a month.
Back in January, DIRECTV also announced a price hike with its TV packages going up $5, $8, or $10 a month, depending on your package. The OPTIMO MAS package also went up $4 a month.
Why is the cost of content going up so quickly? DIRECTV’s statement is very similar to all the other companies and sums up why they are raising the cost of TV. “As is the case across pay TV providers, we’re adjusting the price of our video packages to keep pace with the rising costs of programming. In addition, we continue to experience higher-than-normal inflation across our suppliers.”
Recently, we have seen major cable TV companies put their foot down in an effort to stop price hikes. Spectrum just had a major blackout with Disney and DIRECTV did with Nexstar. Sadly, this will likely just slow the rise of cable TV bills, but won’t put a stop to higher prices down the line.
While the cost of all services are going up and you’re going to end up spending more either way, savvy cord cutters looking at the different price increases can still save money. For instance, the $10 hike on DIRECTV’s most popular plan is a slightly more than the $8 increase from YouTubeTV, meaning you’re still saving a bit more than you were a year ago — even if the total costs are still higher.
But as these price increases continue to rise and inflation remains, every bit of savings count.