In a move to compensate rising costs of broadcasting local channels and sports programmes, Time Warner Cable (NASDAQ:TWC) is set to charge about 15 million customers. Customers will be charged $2.75 per month for watching sports programmes since January 1 2015.
Broadcasting TV surcharge, which was priced at $2.25 will now be hiked to $2.76 per month and Internet modem lease has been hiked to $8 from the earlier $5.99. Customers who use “a la carte” basis plan for watching HBO channels will see increased prices from $14.99 to $16.99. However, package users will not be charged extra.
Time Warner is in the process of a $45 billion merger with Comcast and has invested millions for new modems for faster Internet speeds, according to spokesperson Scott Pryzwanski who explained the reason behind the hike. The hiked leasing fee helps the company pay for new equipments and cover maintenance costs. Subscribers can avoid the fee by using their own modems.
However, customers will have to pay the sports programming fees as networks carried by the company do not offer the channels on a standalone basis. The company stated that costs for carrying sports channels has risen by 91 percent since 2008 and charges paid by the provider also rose by 60 percent. Time Warner rivals like DirectTV charges $3 for sports programming while Wow! TV charges about $9 for local network channels.
Currently, ESPN remains the most expensive channel for cable and satellite providers with charges of $6.04 per month. Derek Baine, research director at media research firm SNL Kagan stated that prices for Time Warner Cable and Internet packages will remain the same.
Subscribers are disappointed with the new charges and are looking for ways to reduce bills by opting for Internet services. Charlotte’s John Shaw indicated that he was planning to cancel his subscription from Jan.1 2015 and said the price increases are insane and out of control. AT&T has announced similar price hikes in 2015.[ Via ]