Why is Arvig raising the monthly price for TV?
Arvig has recently concluded negotiations with NBCUniversal for a new broadcasting contract. This contract secures the rights we need to broadcast content from this media company, and it sets terms for pricing, bundling and viewing options.
This negotiation resulted in good and bad news. The good news is, we can continue offering our television customers the same NBCUniversal channels: Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf, MSNBC, NBC, NBC Sports Network, Olympic Channel, Oxygen, SyFy, Universal Kids and USA.
The bad news is, the negotiations are a major contributor to an upcoming increase in our prices. Again, this media conglomerate—consistent with the others with whom we’ve negotiated in the past—is demanding a higher fee.
How often are contracts negotiated?
Most contracts are negotiated in either a three or five-year cycle. However, the rate structure on almost all contracts include a yearly incremental increase on the fees we must pay to the content providers for each and every customer on a monthly basis.
Will my bill go up again next year?
Yes. It is very likely, come next year, that your bill will increase again. The contracts we sign are multi-year carriage deals, often requiring us to pay more each year for the remainder of our contract. Rising programming costs affect all providers, including Dish and DirecTV. Streaming platforms, like SlingTV and YouTube TV are also raising prices, citing rising programming fees.
I pay a lot for my cable service. Can't you use that money to pay for this increase?
We absorb as much of these increases as possible, but in order to continue providing you with the service, we have to pass along some of the costs to our customers. Not only do we have to pay the carriage fees to the networks each month, but we also have to pay the employees who work daily to keep your service running, plus cover the expenses of equipment maintenance and upgrades to provide you with the best possible service.
Why can't I just pay for the channels I want?
Arvig is often required to “bundle” cable channels that are highly viewed with additional channels that are less popular. Programmers don’t only force us to pay for these channels, but they also tell us how we have to bundle them for our customers. We don’t think this is fair—and we know you don’t think it is either—but we typically have to agree to these terms in order to continue carriage of your favorite channels. We continue to explore ways to provide you the channels you want at an affordable price.
Want more information about the cost of cable television?
TVonMySide.com, a website developed by the National Cable Television Cooperative is a resource to help customers understand trends and keep track of disputes related to the cost of cable TV.