Consumers' Pay TV Fees: Going Up, Down, Or Somewhere In Between?

With all the activity around different kinds of TV packages coming to market, now traditional cable operators will get some added assistance: a bit more freedom to raise prices.

The Federal Communications Commission is looking to take away some local government regulation of rates, according to reports.

All this may be late in coming. FCC now talks about how the marketplace has dramatically changed, with cable operators facing much more competition, not just from satellite and telco operators, but from new digital platforms.

The biggest fear for consumers might be cable operators making more drastic changes to current offerings, perhaps making it harder (or pricier) for consumers to get local broadcast stations and/or sports TV networks at part of their packages.

Where can viewers turn? You can get ESPN as part of a basic package -- but other sports channels are extra. Sling TV may add local TV stations. CBS All Access has local TV stations on its service -- and reports are a new stand-alone Apple digital TV service will as well.



For years, consumers have complained about cable operators’ late service calls, difficult customer service and rising prices New digital services have given them reasons for optimism as opposed to times past, when they had only one or two pay TV providers as alternatives.

But the question is, apart from price, are viewers really ready for the “freedom” of pay TV providers?

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