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The cable TV landscape is changing more quickly than ever before—here’s why

Complicated content agreements
Curious about recent changes in your BELD Broadband bill? Let’s dive into some factors impacting cable television rates and offerings … Each channel carried by a cable company requires an agreement. These agreements are complex and make it impossible for cable providers to offer flexibility to customers— they’re the reason for certain requirements when you subscribe to BELD Broadband cable service.

For example, Turner owns more than 10 networks including StreamingTVTBS, TNT and Cartoon Network, and it requires cable providers to carry all of them. This is also why “a la carte” service is not an option. Content agreements prevent cable providers from choosing which networks they make available to customers. 

Continually increasing costs
Cable companies nationwide are dealing with rising costs, and it’s not uncommon to find some who barely break even.

There are two main types of costs: retransmission consent fees, the costs to retransmit our local broadcast stations (WBTS, WBZ, etc.), and programming fees paid to the networks to carry their channels. Both of these fees increase each year, sometimes at a rate of more than 20%. 

Sports programming rights are heavily influencing these fee increases. Escalating salaries of star players and coaches place large financial demands on teams and leagues, who in turn drive up programming costs to cover expenses. These costs are passed on from the networks to cable companies, and then unfortunately to customers. 

Changes in viewing habits
In the 1980s and ‘90s when cable TV was becoming popular, it was really the only way to watch the best shows and movies in your home (unless you rented from Blockbuster). But today, customers have many more options for watching content because of Internet delivered services like Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video. While BELD Broadband supports online streaming with a menu of fast, reliable Internet speed levels, the variety of viewing choices makes it difficult for cable TV as viewers shift their attention to new platforms and content. 

We hope this helps you understand what’s happening in cable TV, not just in our community but across the country. Want to learn more—or increase your Internet speed to handle more streaming? Call us at 781.348.BELD(2353).