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Spectrum raising cable TV, internet and phone rates

May 18, 2023

ALBANY (TNS) — Spectrum, the cable TV and broadband provider, is raising its rates for the next billing period.

Spectrum will increase the cost of its internet service by $5 per month; its bundled voice service by $5 per month and its broadcast TV surcharge by $1.

On one bill examined by the Times Union, the current broadcast TV surcharge was $22.20; phone service was $14.99 and internet was $79.99.

“Due to rising programming fees charged by the TV networks we carry, their increases will be passed through to our customers,” reads a Spectrum bill dated July 10.

“TV programmers continue to raise fees annually to carry their content, driving higher costs across the entire industry. As a direct result of the growing cost of programming from the cable networks and local broadcast stations we carry, we are passing through these increased fees to viewers,” Spectrum spokeswoman Lara Pritchard said in an email.

Spectrum, like others, cited a widely distributed survey by SNL Kagan, a subsidiary of S&P Global Market Intelligence, that estimated such fees industrywide have increased more from $1.3 billion in 2010 to $14.5 billion in 2022.

Spectrum, which serves the Olean area and much of Upstate New York, is among several providers that have raised rates recently, according to the TV Answer Man news website.

Also increasing rates this year are Comcast, as well as the Dish and DirectTV satellite providers.

Cable providers for several years now have complained about retransmission fees or money that cable providers pay local TV stations in order to retransmit their signal to customers.

Those disputes also have carried over to satellite providers, who use wireless signals rather than internet cabling to carry programming.

Spectrum’s Pritchard stressed that the recent price hikes impact fewer than half its customers.

Like other carriers, Spectrum offers a wide and sometimes confusing array of plans or choices for services that customers can pick from, including internet only or various package deals with TV and movie channels and phone options.

It wasn’t immediately clear what impact the latest rate hike would have on Spectrum’s customer base in the Capital Region.

The Broadband Search website recently noted that last year, there were 4.9 million “cord cutters” or those who had dropped their traditional cable TV subscriptions for some other form of broadcast service such as online streaming.

The site also noted that cable TV providers have lost 25 million subscribers since 2012, largely due to rising costs.

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