TV competition fizzles in Michigan (The Detroit Free Press) has a story looking at the effect that competition has had on the cable TV market since Michigan state legislators deregulated the sector to let AT&T and others in the door at the beginning of 2007. The effect in short: Rising prices, increasing consumer complaints and lack of broad availability in some markets. Also, though AT&T claims to have hit its goals for availability of U-verse TV in Michigan communities, the state apparently has little way of measuring to ensure this is true and in any case still finds the service level in many communities to be lacking.

The rising prices have something to do with the fact that both AT&T and cable TV players are pushing service bundles, which of course, cost more than just regular TV service. You get more when you pay more, is AT&T's point, but it sort of makes it seem like AT&T dangled the promise of cable TV competition as a way of getting the right to sell bundles in Michigan (an obvious statement, I know, but one that the folks in Michigan are just beginning to understand).

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