Mediacom announces rate hike
It is as much a certainty as green grass in the spring — Mediacom is raising prices again to Mt. Pleasant subscribers.
The cable provider informed Mt. Pleasant City Council members that it will be enacting a $2.06 monthly local broadcast station surcharge to all subscribers and will be boosting the price for the family cable package from $70.95 monthly to $72.95. The new rates are effective on or about May 1.
“The decision to make price adjustments is always a difficult one,” said Lee Grassley, senior manager of government relations for Mediacom Communications in a letter to the city. “Contrary to public perception, we are very reluctant to raise video prices because when we do, we lose subscribers. However, cable and satellite companies are constantly being pressured by the programmers we buy from to pay more for the channels we carry.”
Grassley claimed Mediacom’s programming costs rose by over 12 percent in the last year.
He said the company is enacting a local broadcast station surcharge because “the fees we pay to retransmit local broadcast stations like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC are by far our fastest growing programming cost component.”
The Mediacom official said outdated federal laws give the local stations monopoly power over network and syndicated programming within their respective market areas. “Over the last few years, many broadcasters have used their monopoly power to demand 100 percent, 200 percent and even 300 percent rate increases during contract negotiations,” Grassley noted.
“The local broadcast station surcharge will be equal to fee increases the local broadcast stations in your market have demanded we pay to them since the start of 2012,” Grassley said. “By bringing more transparency to the unjustified fee increases being taken by local broadcast stations, we hope to draw the attention of consumers and their elected representatives to this rapidly escalating problem.”
Rate increases requested by national and regional sports networks are the reason for the increase in the family cable package, Grassley noted.