Mediacom will raise rates in January
It may not be quite as much of a certainty as death and taxes, but Mediacom, Mt. Pleasant’s primary cable television franchise, will be raising monthly rates again, effective on or about Jan. 1, 2014.
Following are the services and the monthly rate increases (service followed by old rate and new rate):
Local broadcast station surcharge — $2.06, $2.97; digital plus — $14, $16; HBO — $16.95, $17.95; Showtime — $12.95, $14.95; Starz — $9, $11.
Lee Grassley, senior manager, government relations for Mediacom, in a letter to city officials, blamed the price increase on cable and satellite companies raising rates which Mediacom must pay to provide programming.
“The decision to make price adjustments is a difficult one,” Grassley wrote. “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 the fees Mediacom must pay to retransmit local broadcast stations like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC are by far Mediacom’s fastest growing programming cost component.
“Outdated federal laws give the local broadcast stations monopoly power over network and syndicated programming within their respective market areas,” Grassley continued. “American consumers, through their cable and satellite bills, are now paying billions of dollars each year to broadcast station owners for ‘free’ over-the-air television.”
The local broadcast station surcharge was instituted in May 2013 by Mediacom. The surcharge, Grassley said, is equal to the fee increases the local broadcast stations in our market have demanded that Mediacom since the beginning of 2012.
He added that by bringing transparency to the unjustified fee increases from local broadcast stations, Mediacom hopes to draw the attention of consumers and their elected representatives on the rapidly escalating problem.
Questions should be directed to Grassley at 319-395-9699, ext. 3461, or firstname.lastname@example.org.