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Cablevision to Raise Rates

Cablevision said late Friday that it will raise the rates for its cable TV service in 2008 by 4.7%, but that it won’t hike the fees for Optimum Online and Optimum Voice.

The cable TV operator, which faces stiff competition from Verizon’s FiOS TV and FiOS Internet in Long Island, Northern New Jersey and Westchester County, New York, said it won’t raise the rates for its Optimum Online high-speed Internet service and its Optimum Voice digital phone service.

But Cablevision said it will hike the average rates of its pay TV programming packages in 2008 by 4.7%. The cable operator attributed the increases to rising programming costs, which it said have increased by 13% during the last year.

Cablevision won’t change the standard rates for its high-speed Internet service and digital phone service. It charges $34.95 monthly for Optimum Phone and the standard monthly price for Optimum Online is $49.95. But spokesman Jim Maiella said most Optimum Online customers also subscribe to Cablevision’s iO digital cable package, which gives them a $5 monthly discount on the high-speed Internet service.

Cablevision said average cable television price adjustment for the past three years has been below the rate of inflation.

The 4.7% increase in 2008 for pay TV packages is an average of the price increase for its various programming tiers. Current charges include $15.52 monthly for broadcast basic, $46.95 for Family Cable and $87.95 for iO Gold.