Cox Communications is raising the price of its major cable TV plans in Orange County between 3.6 to 10 percent, beginning March 1. And if you’re a premium movie subscriber or HD fan, expect your monthly bill to go up even higher. (Thanks to all the readers who wrote in about this.)
It’s not unexpected news as we’ve heard about TV price hikes from all the major providers in Orange County. Cox, which has its local headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita, tends to increase prices in the spring.
“The main reason that our prices are changing is because of the rising costs of doing business. Cox is similar to a grocery store; we are a retail distributor of a wholesale product. Each year programmers like ESPN, CNN and MTV raise their costs, which then raises our costs to do business. We try to keep cable prices as low as possible, and while we absorb much of the increases incurred, we can’t absorb the full amount of fees we pay for the programmers. So, we have to pass on at least a portion of those increases to our customers,” said Lana Ong, a Cox spokeswoman.
|Cox TV starter (broadcast)||$20.00||$22.00||+10.0%|
|Cox TV essential (Broadcast, popular cable)||$50.99||$52.99||+3.9%|
|Cox Advanced TV (Digital)||$55.99||$57.99||+3.6%|
|1 premium movie||$12.99||$14.00||+7.8%|
|2 premium movies||$18.50||$21.00||+13.5%|
|3 premium movies||$27.00||$30.00||+11.1%|
|4 premium movies||$35.00||$38.00||+8.6%|
|ATV with 1 TV pak||$62.49||$65.49||+4.8%|
|ATV with 3 TV paks||$65.94||$68.94||+4.5%|
|ATV with 4 TV paks||$68.94||$71.94||+4.4%|
|Internet (value) 3 Mbps||$28.99||$31.99||+10.3%|
|Internet (preferred) 10 Mbps||$44.99||$46.99||+4.4%|
|Internet (premier) 20 Mbps||$59.99||$61.99||+3.3%|
The chart on the right details what services are going up. The complete document being mailed to Cox subscribers is available HERE. But what is going up?
■ HD TV service: Both the HD receiver and the HD DVR will now cost $2 more than non-HD versions. That’s a 36.4% increase. Also going up: the HD channel tier (with HDnet, HDnet Movies and HD Theater) jumps 55-cents per month to $5.50.
■ Premium channels: If you thought spending $12.99/month on HBO was a lot, that price is jumping 7.8 percent to $14. Buy all four movie premiums — including Cinemax, Showtime and Starz — and the price goes up 8.6 percent to $38/month.
■ Basic broadcast cable: People on Cox’s cheapest TV plan, which includes only the local and broadcast channels, get a $2 price increase to $22, or 10 percent.
■ High speed Internet: There’s no escaping a fee increase if you’re a Cox Internet user. Prices for the starter service are going up $3/month to $22.99, or 15.2 percent. The fastest users get a 3.3 percent hike to $61.99/month.
|More 2010 TV price hikes:
What’s not going up:
■ Phone service. Basic phone service prices are not going up. However, if you use certain features, like call waiting and caller ID, those are going up $0.05 to $1.05 per month.
■ DVR service: Not only is this TV recording service that also can pause and rewind live TV not going up, it’s going down by 16.4 percent. Specifically, Cox is cutting about $2 off the monthly fee to get it to $9.99/month.
TV prices continue to rise everywhere even as consumers seem to have more options with online TV sites like Hulu.com and free services like Boxee.TV that search the web for TV shows. The rise of Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse, plus satellite TV services Dish Networks and DirecTV, have all contributed to more choices for consumers in some areas.
Ong, with Cox, added that if customers commit to a 24-month service agreement, they can qualify for a price lock guarantee so their rates won’t be impacted by future rate hikes for a period of time.
Recent Cox Cable news: