Cable TV Cartel in the US

Cable TV in the US is oligopolized by a few companies that fix prices to keep them expensive (Cable prices are rising at 4 times the rate of inflation according to the FCC). Bills are usually unintelligible, and prices hike up after all but clear promotional periods that are well designed to acquire new customers and trap them (the cable bill costs $100/month on average). Let alone that some areas, like where I live in Brooklyn, are completely monopolized by only one company favored by big real estate companies, universities, or other owners of building complexes.

In addition to all of that, the cable company doesn’t sell any of its products (like the cable box, router, modem), but rather rent it for monthly fees (around $15/month combined). They even rent you the remote control! My first advice for new subscribers is that you should buy all these equipment yourself to decrease your monthly bill. It pays off in the long run.

Second advice for current subscribers is to check out your bill and spot unneeded packages to eliminate. You can also downgrade to basic packages if you don’t make use of your current services. Or just eliminate cable altogether (a combination of YT and Netflix/Hulu is nice and more affordable).

Unfortunately, if you’re sports fan, a cable TV in the US is a must, as sports networks don’t offer standalone subscriptions, obviously because they are themselves parts of the bigger cartel, that doesn’t seem “to be breaking on its own”, as Milton Friedman stated.

It’s a similar model to the anti-competitive agreements set by airline companies, both private and state owned, to keep airfare expensive, but that needs another post.

Attached some screenshots of my chat with an Optimum CSA.

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