'Change' worries cost-conscious former Bresnan subscribers

Some former Bresnan subscribers in Montana are equating Cablevision Systems' (NYSE: CVC) promise of "changes" to its cable service to higher rates and reduced services. The subscribers point to the fact that Cablevision, which bought Bresnan last year for $1.37 billion, reportedly generated $450 per subscriber home while Bresnan's take was $250.

Jim Berg sought help from the Billings City Council and came away empty-handed. "I'm just trying to get by on a senior citizen's income and it just irritates me," Berg said.

The city, though, is hamstrung "because there are some other complicated things in the contract that could get drawn in if we start pushing them around too much," said City Councilman Dick Clark. "After I went back and looked at it, I think they have every right to raise the rates if they want to."

Cablevision, true to form, "declined to provide more specifics on the charges, which they said will be announced in the coming weeks," the Billings Gazette reported. Among those changes are the moves of The Weather Channel and Discovery Channel from the $63-a-month basic cable channel to expanded basic. They're being replaced by the Home Shopping Network and Univision.

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