U.S. pay-TV price increases are double the inflation rate, report says

New York-based Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) is the priciest U.S. pay TV operator, according to new SNL Kagan research, with average revenue per customer coming in at $152.72 a month for bundled video and broadband services.

This latest SNL Kagan data, obtained by International Business Times (IBT), shows that overall pay-TV pricing has spiked about 4 percent year over year, about twice the rate of inflation (which is about 1.9 percent). 

According to the research company, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) ranks second among priciest MSOs, with a per-customer haul of $137.24 a month. Verizon (NYSE: VZ) ranks third on the list at $122.57.

UPDATE: While no one in the pay-TV industry disputes consumer pricing is rising fast alongside spiraling program costs, Cablevision did take issue with the $152.72 figure that was cited in the IBT report as an average consumer price. That figure, which was reported in Cablevision's second-quarter earnings call earlier this month, is actually based on revenue per customer, and also reflects factors like advertising that have nothing to do with consumer pricing. 

As IBT notes, operators peg the steep price increases on program licensing costs. With The Walt Disney Company, for example, renewing many of its carriage deals, ESPN--a must-have network for virtually every operator--now accounts for an average of $5.54 of the U.S. pay-TV bill.

And as SNL Kagan also reports, an element in the price-increase equation is that more MSO customers are bundling broadband with their video services. Stripping out broadband, video services averaged $64.41 per subscriber in 2013.

For more:
- read this IB Times story

Related links:
DirecTV plans 'meaningful' rate hike in 2014
Comcast hiking limited basic fees by 9% in Oregon
Dish Network to hike subscription fees by $5 monthly


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