Comcast, for instance, says customer bills will rise 2.2 percent, on average, in 2018. AT&T is raising DirecTV's prices by up to $8 a month in mid-January. Smaller providers are planning increases, too.
Over the past decade, prices for TV service have risen almost twice as fast as inflation, according to an analysis of government data. Data provider S&P Global Market Intelligence says customers' cable and satellite TV bills have soared 53 percent since 2007, to $100.98 in 2017.
Annual rate hikes are as guaranteed as death and taxes. But you can push back and trim your bill.
Cable companies point to rising fees they pay to carry TV networks. The networks, in turn, have their own rising costs – particularly sports, as they willingly pay more to sports leagues for what they consider must-have programming. But the networks also know they can pass those costs back to cable companies and ultimately their subscribers.
It's industry convention that a cable bundle needs live sports. Otherwise, cable companies risk losing subscribers to Netflix and other sports-less alternatives.