In case you spotted today’s L.A. Times story headlined, “What?! Another Time Warner Cable rate hike?” don’t freak out. At least if you live in Orange County.
The story mentions a 4 percent rate hike that goes into effect April 1. This “follows an identical increase in January for the rest of Time Warner Cable’s nearly 2 million SoCal customers, as well as prior increases last year.” That statement plus the headline made me think that a second price hike was coming for 2010. Did I miss something?
I checked with Time Warner to verify what was going on. Company spokesman Darryl Ryan immediately called me back to say, no, this isn’t a second increase this year. This adds in the rest of Time Warner’s Los Angeles customers who didn’t get hit with the 4 percent increase in January.
|2010 TV price increases|
“Any price adjustments affecting your readers has already been adjusted,” Ryan said.
Now, of course, this doesn’t explain why Time Warner had to hike our bills in the first place. But keep in mind, the cable company wasn’t the only one to raise prices this year. Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS, DirecTV and AT&T U-verse all raised their prices in recent months too. See links to those reports on the right. The same companies all raised rates last year too.
Time Warner, like all TV providers, face increasing fees from the TV channels. Most of the time, the TV providers pay the new price. Occasionally, negotiations go public when the two sides can’t agree on a new price. Most recently, Walt Disney threatened to pull ABC from Cablevision viewers on the East Coast, which meant no Oscars. In the end, the two sides made amends but cable customers missed the awards show introduction. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is investigating such disputes to prevent the loss of TV service to consumers in the future.
Recent Time Warner news: