Altice confirmed it will increase its service prices by an average of roughly 3.4 percent across its Cablevision and Suddenlink service areas.
“We provide our customers with superior products and services at a great value, continually introducing faster internet speeds and with plans to roll out an enhanced video experience in the coming months. Our pricing remains extremely competitive in the face of rapidly rising programming costs,” Altice spokesperson Lisa Anselmo told FierceCable.
Anselmo explained that the rate increases are largely due to the increased cost of programming on the company’s pay-TV service. Indeed, programmers and content producers continue to work to generate more revenue from their distribution channels, including from cable TV operators like Altice. Larger programmers also sometimes require pay-TV companies to carry multiple niche channels in order to obtain the rights to carry more popular channels.
Anselmo added that Altice’s rate increases also reflect the company’s investments into improving its network, and offering more flexible viewing options including the ability for users to access their content through devices beyond their living room TVs.
Anselmo explained that the rate increases would be levied throughout the month of December, depending on the details of customers’ billing cycles.
The rate increases were first noted by DSLReports, citing customer comments.
To be clear, Altice isn’t the only provider increasing its rates. For example, Cox Communications earlier this year raised its broadband rates for customers, citing "product and technology investments and increases in business costs" as the reason behind the increase.
"This increase affects the small percentage of customers who only subscribe to Cox High Speed Internet,” the company said in a statement at the time. “The majority of our customers subscribe to more than one service allowing them to realize more value and savings. Cox is continuously improving its network to maintain superior high speed internet service, increasing speeds more than 1,000 percent on its most popular packages over the past 15 years. CHSI continues to offer customers more value for their money every year, including bringing all Ultimate package customers to 300 Mbps and continuing to launch gigabit speeds in most of its markets.”
Altice, of course, continues to work to unify its acquisitions of Cablevision and Suddenlink, and to position itself against competitors ranging from Verizon to AT&T in various markets. Europe’s Altice closed its $9.1 billion acquisition of Suddenlink late last year, and earlier this year the company closed its $17.7 billion acquisition of Cablevision. The actions made the company the nation’s fourth largest cable company, behind heavyweights like Comcast and Charter Communications (following that company’s purchase this year of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks).
Most recently, Altice is planning for an initial public offering, according to Reuters. The move by the company’s Netherlands-based parent, Altice NV, and its French billionaire owner, Patrick Drahi, would capitalize the U.S. operation and allow it to pursue more acquisitions.