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The Cable Value Index

The Federal Communications Commission said the price of
expanded basic-video service (basic
cable, plus the most popular tiers,
excluding taxes and fees) increased
134% between Jan. 1, 1995 and
Jan. 1, 2009, according to its
just-released cable rate survey of
operators. But on a per-channel
basis, the price increase is only
a fraction of that —18% over that
same period, when the consumer
price index increased by 39%.

The National Cable &
Telecommunications Association
dismissed the FCC’s data generally
as missing the triple-play boat.
“Since the majority of cable
customers subscribe to multiple
services, the data is largely
irrelevant because it doesn’t reflect
the actual consumer experience,”
the trade group said in response.
“Most cable customers subscribe
to digital cable and other services,
so they are enjoying a bundled
discount, plus have hundreds of
channels and other interactive
features to choose from. When
you consider that total TV viewing
continues to rise year after year,
consumers are clearly demonstrating
that they enjoy their video service.”