North Carolinians learn that cable TV is an expensive do-it-yourself proposition

The cable TV and broadband (are they mutually exclusive?) system that residents of Davidson and Mooresville, N.C. jointly own is becoming a money pit. The system cost $92.5 million to start and about $6,000 for every subscriber acquired and now requires an additional $6.4 million subsidy next year and $576,000 just to keep running this year.

The project started in 2007 when the towns denied the transfer of the Adelphia franchise to Time Warner Cable when Adelphia went bankrupt. The towns decided to do it themselves and forecast 8 percent annual subscriber growth.

The reality is that subscriber growth has been flat with only 15,235 subs--slightly less than the old Adelphia days. The towns also now concede that despite paying about $6,000 per subscriber, the whole system is only worth about $3,000 per sub.

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