×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Charter Set Rate Hikes for 2018

Traditional pay-TV operators are bleeding subscribers — and that’s not likely going to improve, as major U.S. cable and satellite providers are ringing in 2018 with price increases.

Comcast, AT&T’s DirecTV, Dish Network, and Charter Communications are among the operators that have notified customers about rate hikes set to go into effect in January for most TV packages. As usual, the providers have cited higher programming costs for jacking up their fees.

Comcast is hiking monthly rates for most bundles about $5. The X1 Starter Triple Play package will increase from $150 to $155 per month (3.3%), while the Premier Triple Play is going from $210 to $215 monthly (2.4%).

Dish is raising rates as of Jan. 16, 2018, with most programming packages set to increase by $3 per month in addition to a $2 monthly increase for local channels. The price of Dish’s “Smart Pack” will rise 7%, to $44.99 per month; America’s Top 200 will increase 6%, to $89.99; and America’s Everything Pack is increasing 3.4%, to $149.99. The company has detailed 2018 pricing in an update on its website; customers with promotional pricing won’t see their rates change until those offers expire.

“Dish and all other TV providers have had to accept significant price increases from programmers to carry their channels, particularly for local channels (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC), which are driving the fastest-growing costs,” a rep for the satellite operator said. Dish breaks out the cost of local channels as a separate line item; that’s set to jump 20%, from $10 to $12 per month, in 2018.

DirecTV, in a notice on its customer-support site, said monthly rates will increase on Jan. 21, 2018, for all programming tiers starting with Select packages (unless customers currently have discounted promo pricing).

DirecTV’s Select package will go up $2 per month (up 2.6% over current standard pricing of $76 per month); while Entertainment is increasing $3 (3.4%); Choice will be $4 higher (4%); Xtra will rise $7 (6.4%); and Ultimate and Premier tiers will increase $8 (6.7% and 4.6%, respectively).

Charter, which markets services under the Spectrum brand, also is hiking rates in January, according to user posts on DSLReports. For example, in Lexington, Ky. — a market formerly served by Time Warner Cable, which is now owned by Charter — the “Good Triple Play Premium” bundle will increase 7.8%, from $129 to $139 per month; the “Better Triple Play Plus” will increase 6.7%, from $149 to $159; and the “Best Triple Play Plus” will increase 5.9%, from $169 to $179.

Cable operator Cox Communications, meanwhile, will raise rates Jan. 7, with increases of 2.5%-6% depending on service package.

As cable and satellite TV rates continue rising, customers are switching to lower-cost, over-the-top internet TV services — or cutting the cord altogether.

In the third quarter of 2017, traditional cable and satellite TV operators shed a collective 872,000 subs, representing a 3.1% year-over-year decline for the segment, per estimates by analyst firm MoffettNathanson. Overall, the U.S. pay-TV universe actually gained net 90,000 customers in Q3 when factoring in growth of “over-the-top” internet TV services like Dish’s Sling TV and DirecTV Now. However, those packages strip out many networks and are priced less than traditional pay-TV bundles.

More Biz

  • Tan FranceUnforgettable Gala, Inside, Los Angeles,

    'Queer Eye' Star Tan France to Host Audiobook Audie Awards

    “Queer Eye” resident style expert Tan France is taking on a slightly different project next month as he hosts the Audie Awards, which honors the best releases and achievements in audiobooks over the past 12 months. The ceremony, which takes place on March 4 in New York, is an annual event organized by the Audio [...]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Shelly Saltman, Former Fox Sports President and Promoter, Dies at 87

    Sheldon “Shelly” Saltman, the sports promoter behind the Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs tennis match and Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon jump, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 87. The original president of Fox Sports, Saltman started his career as a sports announcer before moving to promotions at media companies like the Gillette Cavalcade [...]

  • Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint

    Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint Venture

    Arista Records and Smokepurpp/ Lil Mosey manager Josh Marshall today announced the launch of Mogul Vision Music, a new joint venture label focused on “breaking extraordinary talent and building artist careers through innovative A&R, branding and marketing strategy,” according to the announcement. Based in New York with Marshall (pictured above left, with Massey) as its CEO, the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Faces Prison, Career Ruin if He Lied About Attack

    Jussie Smollett is facing prison time and the implosion of his career if it turns out he lied about being the target of a hate crime, legal and public relations experts say. “The best thing that Jussie can do is pray and pray a lot,” said Ronn Torossian, founder of 5W Public Relations. “If he [...]

  • Gerrit Meier Variety Strictly Business Podcast

    Listen: Red Bull Practically Invented Branded Entertainment. What's Next?

    With memorable moves like sponsoring Felix Baumgartner’s jump from outer space in 2012 to achieve the world’s farthest ever-parachute drop, Red Bull has been a pioneering force in branded entertainment. While known best for its line of energy drinks, the beverage maker has eschewed traditional marketing for content that blurred the boundaries between advertising and [...]

  • Martin Bandier to Be Honored at

    Martin Bandier to Be Honored at Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony

    Martin Bandier, outgoing chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, will be awarded the Visionary Leadership Award at the 50 th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. According to the announcement, the Visionary Leadership Award “acknowledges a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Board [...]

  • Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the

    Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the Red but Reduces Losses

    The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort theme park remained in the red for the fourth straight year, but there are signs of improvement. For the financial year to end-September 2018, HKDL reported $769 million (HK$6 billion) of revenue from 6.7 million visitors, an increase of 8%. Net losses fell from $32 million (HK$291 million) to $6.92 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content