Business

Cable, satellite to raise prices in move to counter cord-cutting

Signage is displayed in the window of a Comcast Corp. Xfinity store in King Of Prussia, Pa. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Charles Mostoller
Signage is displayed in the window of a Comcast Corp. Xfinity store in King Of Prussia, Pa. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Charles Mostoller

Another year, another increase to monthly pay-TV bills.

Giants including Comcast, Dish and DirecTV have said they will raise rates again this year — a move that could boost revenue but risks alienating subscribers who have been ditching their traditional TV subscriptions in record numbers.

Cable and satellite providers are hoping to squeeze more money from consumers who remain loyal to their packages with hundreds of channels, Philip Cusick, a JPMorgan Chase analyst, said in a note this week, even though “this strategy could accelerate video sub declines.”

It’s common for pay-TV providers to raise prices in the new year. They are passing on the rising costs they pay to carry networks such as CBS and ABC, as well as regional sports channels such as the YES Network, which are shelling out more for sports broadcast rights.

The latest price increases come as cord-cutting accelerates. In the third quarter, the TV industry saw its largest-ever rate of decline, with subscribers shrinking by 3.7 percent, according to MoffettNathanson.

Consumers are dropping traditional TV for lower-cost online options such as Netflix Inc. and slimmer TV options from Hulu and YouTube.

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