Time Warner Cable, the country’s second largest cable company, is giving its Southern California customers a not-so-nice present for the New Year: a substantial rate increase. Some rates for local broadcast channels will go up a whopping 27.4 percent, from $13.34 to $17. There will be a 9.5 percent increase for broadcast plus basic cable channels, and a 7.3 percent increase for the digital video package. Even the initial installation of Time Warner for video, internet or phone service is set to soar, from $32.99 to $49.99, a 51.5 percent increase.
A Time Warner spokesman says the elevated rates are due to higher fees charged by broadcasting companies for access to channels such as ESPN and Fox Sports. Other cable companies, however, such as Comcast, say they don’t anticipate rate hikes in the immediate future.
Will you switch cable companies, or drop cable altogether?
Judy Dugan, research director, Consumer Watchdog
Jim Gordon, spokesman for Time Warner