The economy may be in the toilet and aggressive promos may be out there (like DISH’s $9.99/month for 150 channels for 6 months when you sign a 2-year contract), but that’s not stopping the rate hikes from cable, telcos and DBS. It may seem pretty odd that companies will offer drastically slashed promotions while the sector continues to raise rates overall. But Sanford Bernstein’s Craig Moffett said there is a perfectly good explanation. Yes, such a combo could generally be expected to increase churn rates. “But these are not ordinary times,” Moffett said in a note to clients earlier this month. “Churn rates are currently at all time low levels due to the collapse of the housing market. Faced with fewer purchase occasions, competitors are left to resort to more aggressive promotions to counteract the inertia of ‘staying put.’”

It’s hard to put an exact figure on rate hikes since it often varies by market, but Moffett estimates that Comcast is raising expanded basic analog by about 6.3% and Time Warner Cable by about 6.6%. Cablevision said in the fall it would raise cable prices an avg of 3.5%, with triple-play pricing remaining at $90/month. Verizon FiOS and DirecTV haven’t announced rate hikes for ’09, though Moffett notes DirecTV has hinted at 4-5% increases (similar to ’08). AT&T U-Verse has detailed several adjustments, including a 40% spike in the monthly cost for non-DVR receivers along with a 50% increase for its Spanish package. DISH will freeze prices on its lowest priced package, but will raise other packages in Feb, including America’s Top 100 by 6.1% and America’s Top 100 Plus by 4.7%.

The Daily

Subscribe

NBCU’s Shell Not Interested in M&A Any Time Soon

Don’t expect NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell to be the latest media executive to announce a major merger or acquisition. He’s more than happy with what he’s got.

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up

Calendar

Jul 16
Diversity List – 2021 Nominations Due: July 16, 2021
Sep 10
Most Powerful Women – 2021 Nominations Due: Sept 10, 2021
Dec 7
Most Powerful Women CelebrationSave the Date!
Full Calendar

Jobs

Seeking an INDUSTRY JOB?
VIEW JOBS

Hiring? In conjunction with our sister brand, Cynopsis, we are offering hiring managers a deep pool of media-savvy, skilled candidates at a range of experience levels and sectors, The result will be an even more robust industry job board, to help both employers and job seekers.

Contact John@cynopsis.com for more information.