Every time a live TV streaming services raises its prices (see: Hulu with Live TV last week, or YouTube TV earlier this year), there’s a lot of pearl-clutching over how cord-cutting isn’t the great deal it used to be. What these stories often miss is how cable TV prices are rising in lockstep with streaming. It’s just harder to notice, because cable companies tend to raise prices quietly, often through hidden fees.
The latest example is Comcast, which has confirmed to MediaPost that its “Broadcast TV” fee—a mandatory charge that Comcast doesn’t factor into its advertised pricing—will rise from $10 per month to $15 per month on December 18. Comcast is also raising the rate of its Basic TV service for local channels from $30 per month to $35 per month, and it will charge a dollar more per month for modem and voice equipment rental fees.
The cost of Comcast’s internet service is also going up by $3 per month for all plans except its $300 per month Gigabit Pro service. That’s not ideal for cord-cutters, but it means the cost of TV service is still rising at a faster rate than internet alone.
The reality is that all providers of TV bundles—whether they’re cable, satellite, or streaming—are facing the same routine rate hikes from programmers, particularly those that operate sports and broadcast channels. As more valuable content moves outside the bundle and into services like Disney+, the result will be more people opting out of these bundles entirely.