Charter follows Cox in raising Virginia cable rates 9 percent

Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) has joined Cox Communications in jacking up its standard cable television package rates by 9 percent in the Virginia/North Carolina market.

Basic tier prices will go from $32 to $35 a month. Reflecting the cost of sports programming, the sports tier will double to $10. Even cable modem rentals--which have nothing to do with programming costs--are going up to $7 from $5 a month.

"Charter faces rising costs from suppliers that require occasional price adjustments for their products and services," a company spokesman wrote to the Virginian Pilot. "Charter has experienced a rise in our overall cost of doing business, in addition to an increase in the cost we pay for programming and equipment."

Charter maintained prices for the past two years, the spokesman said, and will leave alone basic rates, digital TV and fees for customers with locked-in rates.

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