Comcast and Dish Network raise prices again despite steep ongoing customer losses

Money
Cable and satellite operators are seeing steady erosion of their TV subscriber base. (Pixabay)

Despite projections of continuing pay TV subscriber losses in the fourth quarter for both operators, Comcast and Dish Network have begun notifying customers of pending price increases. 

According to a Comcast user forum, first reported on by DSLReports, Comcast will institute $5-a-month price increases across its tiers. Other charges, like modem lease fees, will shoot up by $1.

Meanwhile, as discovered by TV Predictions, Dish is raising the monthly price of its most popular tiers between $3 to $5. 

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RELATED: Cox Communications notifies customers of 2018 price increases

Comcast and Dish join DirecTV and Cox Communications, which began notifying customers of 2018 rate increases earlier in the month. 

Of course, it’s hardly uncommon for operators to increase prices at the beginning of each year. 

“As we continue to invest in our network, products and services, the cost of doing business rises,” reads a note from Comcast explaining the fee increases to customers. “You may also be aware that we pay increasing programming fees to offer the best in entertainment, news and sports, and they are among our largest costs. As a result, certain services and fees will be increasing in the next month or so.”

While price increases may be business-as-usual for pay TV operators, business is hardly usual these days. Improved service and technology finally led Comcast out of the forest and back to pay TV subscriber growth last year, but analysts predict the No. 1 U.S. cable operator will lose around 40,000 video subscribers in the fourth quarter and finish 2017 back in the red. 

Dish has seen steady erosion of its linear platform approaching double-digit percentages. That probably won’t ebb in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, a study released by TiVo last week suggested that economics were the No. 1 factor driving cord cutting. While 41% of cord-cutter respondents in the TiVo survey said OTT alternatives caused them to ditch linear cable, satellite and IPTV, 85% listed price considerations as a key factor.