Cable Cost Blues

Physician's Money Digest, September15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 17

What you won't hear:

Ask your local cable television operatorwhy your monthly charges have gonethrough the roof and you're likely to hearabout the 34% increase in programmingcosts and the money poured into improvingand maintaining the cable infrastructure.It's almostcertain that the cable operator has noother cable company competing withit. Cable companies go head-to-head inonly 2% of the nation's markets. Notsurprisingly, cable subscribers who live inthese markets save an average of 15%.And if you think being able to pick andpay for only the channels you want towatch will cut your bill, some cableoperators argue that the opposite istrue. As less-watched channels die off,the cable company's revenue will dropand it will have to charge even more tomake up the shortfall.