Cable, satellite TV prices increase

Bills for triple-play services jump 20% since 2010

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – To many consumers, it can feel like bills for cable, Internet and wireless just keep going up. And they're right, according to a recent report.

It's not uncommon for Jacksonville residents' cable or satellite TV bills to be more expensive than their electric bills, even in the heat of the summer.

"It's like $200 a month and it's ridiculous," Comcast customer Judie Scoca said. "We don't watch half the channels that are on there, and it's really bad."

"It was over $100. It was like $110 altogether," DISH Network customer Tim Patterson said.

The bill for triple-play services jumped 20 percent, or about $46, since 2010 to a current average of more than $273 per month.

"I mean, we've always paid too much for it really, to be honest with you," Scoca said.

When consumers were asked which service they would cut first if they had to save money, 76 percent said they would get rid of their pay-TV service. The remaining 24 percent were split evenly between Internet and cellphone service.

"We have no choice. There's no competition," Scoca said. "So it's that or DISH, and everybody tells me DISH is horrible, so."

So what can customers do if they want to cut the cord on cable?

"We're considering going directly to using just Internet access, Netflix and those kind of things," Patterson said.

Pay-TV has a long list of semi-competitors: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, satellite and others.

"I've thought about stuff like that. I don't think it's a bad idea," Scoca said. "Netflix is not very expensive. I think it's a pretty good idea. I actually was thinking of going to something like that."

What's not there with those alternatives is new or live content -- newly aired shows, sports and live events, like newscasts.

Customers who want to keep cable but see a smaller bill can call and ask their cable provider what specials it is running to readjust their bill.

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