Pay-TV Rates Are Rising: Here’s How to Fight Back in 2018

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Man watching TV
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A new year often brings new rates for cable and satellite TV customers — and 2018 is shaping up to be no exception.

Multiple providers have announced impending rate hikes.

AT&T says that, “due to higher costs of programming,” the monthly rates for most DirecTV and DirectTV Español packages will increase by as much as $8 starting Jan. 21.

Dish Network says is has “made some changes to select programming and services” that will start affecting certain customers on Jan. 16, and that rates might rise for some customers.

The Associated Press and CBS report that Comcast customers’ bills will increase by 2.2 percent this year, on average, and smaller providers also are planning increases.

How to lower your TV bill

Cable and satellite TV customers should not automatically resign themselves to paying ever-increasing rates. With the rise of internet-based video-streaming services like Netflix and Hulu — which tend to charge considerably less than traditional TV providers — you have more options than ever.

To learn more about ditching traditional pay-TV providers for internet-based services, check out “How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2018.” The contributor who wrote that report saved himself about $720 a year by doing just that.

My household subscribes to some of the same video-streaming services, paying less than $20 a month to get the TV shows we care to watch.

If you’re not ready or able to leave a traditional TV provider, you still shouldn’t accept rising rates without first trying to lower your bill. Call up your provider and ask what options are available. Or let a third party do the haggling for you.

There are companies that specialize in doing just that. We detail one of them, BillCutterz, in “Should You Hire a Service to Negotiate Your Cable and Other Bills?

Do you have any tips for lowering your TV bill? Share them with us by commenting below or on Facebook.

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