NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Outlook For Cable Rates

March 31, 1999

The federal government is dropping controls on cable TV rates tomorrow. The prospect is that cable rates won't soar.

  • Four of the six largest cable systems plan only small price hikes this year -- with none being more than 5 percent.
  • Some consumers will even see their rates fall -- partly due to the increased competition cable companies face from direct broadcast satellite systems.
  • Experts contend that regulations did not hold down cable rates -- in fact, when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 ordered that price controls end in three years, prices surged 24 percent.
  • Observers say that if Congress wants to promote competition and hold down rates, it should stop local governments from awarding monopoly franchises to cable companies.

Source: Editorial, "Half Right About Cable TV," Investor's Business Daily, March 31, 1999.

 

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