Comcast, AT&T hiking prices for the new year

It has almost become a rite of the new year: Comcast and AT&T are once again increasing prices for its cable TV and internet services.



a car parked on the side of a truck: This is a Comcast truck in Pittsburgh Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


© Gene J. Puskar, Associated Press
This is a Comcast truck in Pittsburgh Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The increases, which take effect on Jan. 1, 2021, includes hikes for TV, internet and equipment rental. Comcast joins AT&T, which reported earlier that it would raise its TV rates, in what has become an annual, unwelcome end-of-year tradition.

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Comcast increases range from $2.50 a month for TV box rentals to $30 hikes for installation or service visits by technicians. Most internet services will increase by $3 a month. Choice TV will go up by $5 a month, and Choice TV with a TV box goes up by $7.50.

NOWHERE TO RUN: Cable, streaming TV prices going up

Comcast is also increasing its Broadcast TV fee, which goes toward providing over-the-air TV channels, and that increase varies by market up to $4.50 a month, according to a Comcast spokesperson.

One fee, for providing service to an additional TV, is decreasing by $2.45.

Customers who have contracts for promotional prices won’t see the changes until those agreements expire.

The price hikes were first posted to Reddit by member in Chicago. Comcast confirmed to the website Ars Technica that the increases apply nationwide.

A Comcast spokesperson provided the following statement about the increases:

“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, not just Comcast. We’re continuing to work hard to manage these costs for our customers while investing in our network to provide the best, most reliable broadband service in the country and the flexibility to choose our industry-leading video platform with X1 or the highest quality streaming product with Flex, the only free streaming TV device with voice remote that’s included with broadband service.”

AT&T announced its hikes earlier this month, which apply only to its DirecTV and U-verse television services starting Jan. 17, 2021. But AT&T also is cutting prices on many of its TV packages. It also attributed many of the increases to programming costs.

RELEASE NOTES: Get Dwight Silverman’s weekly tech newsletter each Monday

AT&T’s price hikes range from $1 a month to $9 a month depending on the service tier. Many of the price cuts are, and quite a few bundles with sports packages have price cuts. In addition, there are $3 decreases for Showtime, Starz and Cinemax.

AT&T is also adding a monthly, 19-cent Federal Cost Recovery Act fee, which used to be charged annually.

AT&T increased its TV prices in July, with hikes for its cable, satellite and streaming services. In general, prices for streaming and traditional TV services have gone up dramatically in 2020, with providers blaming it on the increasing cost of content.

Both companies announced price hikes about this time last year.

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Unwelcome holiday gift: Comcast, AT&T hiking prices

It has almost become a rite of the new year: Comcast and AT&T are once again increasing prices for its cable TV and internet services.

The increases, which take effect on Jan. 1, 2021, includes hikes for TV, internet and equipment rental. Comcast joins AT&T, which reported earlier that it would raise its TV rates, in what has become an annual, unwelcome end-of-year tradition.

Comcast increases range from $2.50 a month for TV box rentals to $30 hikes for installation or service visits by technicians. Most internet services will increase by $3 a month. Choice TV will go up by $5 a month, and Choice TV with a TV box goes up by $7.50.

NOWHERE TO RUN: Cable, streaming TV prices going up

Comcast is also increasing its Broadcast TV fee, which goes toward providing over-the-air TV channels, and that increase varies by market up to $4.50 a month, according to a Comcast spokesperson.

One fee, for providing service to an additional TV, is decreasing by $2.45.

Customers who have contracts for promotional prices won’t see the changes until those agreements expire.

The price hikes were first posted to Reddit by member in Chicago. Comcast confirmed to the website Ars Technica that the increases apply nationwide.

A Comcast spokesperson provided the following statement about the increases:

“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, not just Comcast. We’re continuing to work hard to manage these costs for our customers while investing in our network to provide the best, most reliable broadband service in the country and the flexibility to choose our industry-leading video platform with X1 or the highest quality streaming product with Flex, the only free streaming TV device with voice remote that’s included with broadband service.”

AT&T announced its hikes earlier this month, which apply only to its DirecTV and U-verse television services starting Jan. 17, 2021. But AT&T also is cutting prices on many of its TV packages. It also attributed many of the increases to programming costs.

RELEASE NOTES: Get Dwight Silverman’s weekly tech newsletter each Monday

AT&T’s price hikes range from $1 a month to $9 a month depending on the service tier. Many of the price cuts are, and quite a few bundles with sports packages have price cuts. In addition, there are $3 decreases for Showtime, Starz and Cinemax.

AT&T is also adding a monthly, 19-cent Federal Cost Recovery Act fee, which used to be charged annually.

AT&T increased its TV prices in July, with hikes for its cable, satellite and streaming services. In general, prices for streaming and traditional TV services have gone up dramatically in 2020, with providers blaming it on the increasing cost of content.

Both companies announced price hikes about this time last year.

[email protected]

twitter.com/dsilverman

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AT&T reportedly shopping CNN because ‘ratings will take a hit’ in post-Trump era

AT&T may be looking to sell CNN in an effort to pay off debt and get rid of the cable network after coverage of President Trump caused a ratings peak the network may not see again.

“CNN does not have Donald Trump to kick around anymore, and their ratings will take a hit,” Fox Business correspondent Charlie Gasparino said during a Tucker Carlson Tonight appearance, adding that CNN’s parent company, AT&T, is “financially unstable” with $150 billion in debt.

“They need to cut costs. There’s an active investor out there,” Gasparino said.

Rumors have swirled that billionaire Jeff Bezos could be interested in buying the company, a deal that Fox Business sources said would make sense for both sides.

Bezos has branched away from Amazon and into media before, completing a $250 million deal in 2013 to buy the Washington Post after 80 years of ownership by one family.

“This rumor is real,” Gasparino said. “AT&T is a screwed up company. … CNN, like a lot of media companies, it may have hit its peak hating Trump.”

Gasparino added that he still believes there are good journalists at CNN for a buyer who might be interested in taking on the news network.

“I’m not a CNN hater. They have a lot of good journalists there,” Gasparino said.

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