Looking for relief from the misery of 2022’s wave of rising prices? You could ease that worried mind by enjoying some great entertainment on cable TV.
But, alas, it’s going to cost you — even more than it did last year.
A new year means another price hike for millions of cable TV customers. Multiple major cable and satellite TV companies, among others, already are hiking rates in 2023.
Following are the companies that are sending bigger bills to their customers or soon will be.
1. AT&T U-verse TV
Prices will rise on Jan. 22 for AT&T U-verse TV packages. AT&T says the hikes are due to rising programming costs.
The monthly cost of more than a dozen U-verse TV packages — from “U-basic” to “U-450 All In” — will increase by $7 to $12.
In addition, the monthly broadcast TV fee will increase by $3 and the Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee will rise from 12 cents to 14 cents per month.
For more details, visit AT&T’s “U-verse TV price changes for 2023” webpage.
Prices will rise for most DirecTV packages, with the hikes slated to begin on Jan. 22.
While there will be no increase for the Minimum service or ChineseDirect Plus package, every other package will see a bump.
For Basic Choice, Basic and Family, the boost will be modest, just $1 a month. But Max and Plus will see prices jump by $10 a month. All other packages will see a rise of $3 to $9 per month.
In addition, regional sports network fees will be adjusted by ZIP code viewing area. Some customers will see no change, while most others will have to pay a modest increase of 19 cents each month.
In a message on its website, DirecTV blames the higher prices on “increased programming costs:”
“Periodically, TV network owners increase the fees they charge DIRECTV for the right to broadcast their movies, shows, and sporting events. In addition, this year we have experienced higher-than-normal inflation across our suppliers.”
On Jan. 17, Charter’s Spectrum TV increased the cost of both its broadcast TV fee and 125-channel Select TV plan, according to a report on The TV Answer Man! website.
The website says it is unclear exactly how much more customers will pay for service. But a Charter spokesperson told the website:
“TV programmers continue to raise fees annually to carry their content, driving higher costs across the entire industry. As a direct result of the growing cost of programming from the cable networks and local broadcast stations we carry, we are passing through these increased fees to viewers.”
The TV Answer Man! also reports that Comcast started raising both video and internet prices in December. And in one place — Taunton, Massachusetts — the broadcast TV fee has jumped $7.35 per month.
A Comcast spokesperson told The TV Answer Man! that the company is increasing prices for a familiar reason:
“TV networks and other video programmers continue to raise their prices, with broadcast television and sports being the biggest drivers of increases in customers’ bills.”
Dish began hiking the cost of its package offerings in November, although the company website does not specify how much package prices have risen. Additionally, the Box Return Fee is going from $15 to $20.
On its website, Dish says rising programming costs are behind its price hikes:
“In fact, the fastest growing cost we and all other TV providers have is driven by the cost we pay the programmers. We will continue to work hard for fair deals with these programmers to keep channel costs and the price you pay as low as possible.”
How to cut the cable TV cord
If such price hikes represent the final straw for you — or if you simply want to reduce TV costs for whatever reason — cutting the cable cord can be a great way to save. But only if you do it right.
As we point out in “Why Cutting the Cord Can Be Confusing — and How to Decide If It’s for You,” saving money on TV service is not always straightforward:
“It can be deceptively difficult to figure out whether switching to a streaming TV service or sticking with a traditional paid-TV provider would be cheaper for you.”
Perhaps start by checking out what’s available at little to no cost: