Spectrum cable rates to rise
Spectrum's broadcast TV surcharges will go up, as well as its rates for TV cable packages
Charter Spectrum will raise its rates in response to rising programming costs, the company said Friday.
The company plans to increase its broadcast TV surcharge from $13.50 to $16.45 per month for cable customers. The surcharge is a regulatory fee levied by cable providers to recoup money paid to local broadcasting companies.
Customers using Spectrum’s TV only packages (TV Select, TV Silver and TV Gold) will see their bills increase by $1.50 per month. Customers paying a promotional price for a package will not have the increase impact their bill until after the promotional period is over.
There is no price increase for Spectrum Internet, Voice or Mobile plans, and there is no change to the cost of Spectrum TV equipment, the company said.
The rates will increase in the billing cycle starting Aug. 5.
“Spectrum is committed to continuously enhancing our communication products, providing customers value-driven, superior connectivity services,” said Spectrum spokesperson Lara Pritchard Friday.
“Conversely, programmers annually raise programming fees to deliver the same content, leading to higher costs across the entire industry,” she continued. “The increase we are passing through to viewers is a direct result of these rising programming costs.”
Other streaming services and providers have or will raise their prices this summer, including Youtube TV, AT&T/DirecTV and ESPN.
Spectrum is in the middle of bringing broadband internet connection to at least 145,000 residences in the state by Sept. 2021, as part of a renegotiated agreement with the state, which was signed last year.
The agreement came after the state’s Public Service Commission nearly kicked the company out of New York, arguing that it had not met its broadband internet buildout obligations pursuant to its merger with Time Warner Cable.
The company made recent headlines around its petition for the Federal Communications Commission to allow it to impose data caps for customers, arguing that comparable companies like AT&T and Comcast do the same.
Its 2016 merger agreement banned the company from implementing data caps, in the interest of allowing online video producers to compete with cable providers. Spectrum argued the caps are no longer necessary, as online video has exploded in recent years.
Critics of the move say it would levy an unnecessary charge on residents working or learning from home using their broadband internet connection.