Cost of watching CNS Cable to increase again in 2016
Add the annual CNS Cable rate increase to the list with death and taxes as certainties in life.
The Cairo mayor and council unanimously approved a rate hike for 2016 for CNS Cable, ranging from $1 to $5 per month increases.
Driving the rate increase, according to Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton, are increased costs for cable programming as well as higher retransmission fees for local broadcast stations that are included in the CNS channel lineup. The total estimated increase in costs for CNS is approximately $116,000.
“We continue to get increases from programmers and the fees we have to pay the local channels for retransmission keeps going up, so what we are doing is passing on those costs to our subscribers. It’s one of the evil things about the cable TV business, but the local stations have all the leverage,” Addleton said.
Under the proposed 2016 rate hike, retransmissions costs now total $8.93 per month per subscriber.
While monthly rates are going up, CNS is adding a new level of programming to be marketed as Basic Plus that fills a gap between the Basic package and the Super Basic package.
The new rate for Basic will increase $2 to $27.45 per month and the rate for the new Basic Plus will be $44.95, which is lower than the $74.95 rate for Super Basic, which is $4 per month higher than the 2015 rate.
Digital Gateway is also going up $4 per month and Digital Plus is increasing by $5 per month. Fees for HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz/Encore are also increasing by $1 per month.
There is no proposed increase for HD equipment, DVR upgrade or HD DVR upgrade, with those rates remaining at $7.95 per month.
“We really have no option, other than to lose money,” Councilman Bobby Gwaltney observed. The city manager responded, “You’re right.”
Cairo Mayor Bobby Burns questioned if the city had considered dropping the local channels from the lineup rather than paying the higher retransmission fees. Addleton said to remain competitive the city needed to continue offering the local stations.
“I think it is a good move on our part to create the Basic Plus tier rate. It will give people an option if they don’t want to pay for the higher levels,” Addleton said.
“I guess I’ll continue to pay for the 600 channels to be able to watch the three I actually watch,” Councilman Gwaltney joked, adding, “I’m probably like a lot of other people who are the same way.”
A letter notifying CNS subscribers of the rate hike is scheduled to be mailed on Dec. 1 and the new rates take effect Jan. 1, 2016.
According to the city manager, similar rate hikes are being implemented by the other CNS cities.