If you are thinking about cutting the cord and are a Comcast cable subscriber, keep an eye on your mailbox.
Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, is looking at a rate increase, according to several trade outlets. Price hikes are slated to increase on Dec. 18, according to Cord Cutters News, which acquired a new pricing sheet.
The company’s “basic” package – a collection of local stations and network affiliates, educational, public access and governmental channels – will rise to $35 per month from $30 per month.
Comcast blamed the rising costs of network programming – shows like CBS' popular “NCIS” or ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” – as a reason for the price increase for basic packages.
“Rising programming costs - most notably for broadcast TV and sports - continue to be the biggest factors driving price increases for all content distributors and their customers,” the statement read. “While we absorb some of the increased programming costs, they have a significant impact on the cost of our services.”
Comcast revealed last month it lost 238,000 cable subscribers in the third quarter. This follows another 209,000 customers it lost in the second quarter.
However, Comcast – like other cable operators – is eyeing a broadband future providing fast internet access for cord-cutters who want to watch streaming services. While it may have lost all those cable loyalists last month, the Philadelphia-based company also said it gained 379,000 subscribers to its high-speed Xfinity internet service.
With more consumers flocking to streaming, Comcast is not content to just offer internet service for an army of video streamers.
Come April, through its NBCUniversal entity, Comcast will launch Peacock. It is expected to have more than 15,000 hours of content. Originally, it was reported the service would be supported by both advertisements and subscriptions with a target price of $4.99 per month. But just a few weeks ago there were reports the service would be free to all users and rely on advertising – a sharp contrast to Netflix, Disney+, AppleTV+ and the forthcoming HBOMax – all of which are subscription-based.