Cablevision will raise the price of its cable service by 2.9 percent next year, but for the eighth consecutive year the cost of its high-speed Internet and digital phone service will stay the same, the company said Friday.
The cable company, which has more than 900,000 customers in New Jersey, said that its average cable television price adjustment for 2011 will be an increase of 2.88 percent. That cable rate hike will take effect over the next few months, depending on a customer's specific location and billing cycle.
"We have worked hard and been successful in recent years holding our cable television price adjustment down to an average increase of about 3 percent, a trend that will continue in 2011, even given the impact of higher programming costs," John Trierweiler, Cablevision's senior vice president of product management, said in a prepared statement.
"We also note that 2011 will be the eighth consecutive year without an increase in standard pricing for our award-winning high-speed Internet and phone products, which continue to deliver enormous quality and value to our customers," he also said, referring to Cablevision's Optimum Online service and Optimum Voice digital phone service.
The news comes a week after Cablevision settled its dispute with News Corp., complaining that it was being forced to pay an unfair price to restore carriage of WNYW and WWOR in New York, WTXF in Philadelphia, Nat Geo Wild, Fox Business Channel and Fox Deportes.
Earlier in the year Cablevision had similar disputes with programmers over rising costs — resulting in cable channels or TV stations being temporarily dropped from its lineup — with Scripps Interactive Networks and The Walt Disney Co.
This year Cablevision has continued deployment of Optimum WiFi as a free enhancement for Optimum Online high-speed Internet customers.
The nation's largest and most advanced WiFi network, based on geographic coverage, Optimum WiFi delivers free wireless Internet at speeds faster than cellular 3G networks through tens of thousands of access points located in high-traffic and commercial areas across Cablevision's service area, including thousands of indoor locations and at major venues like Long Island MacArthur Airport, the Nassau Coliseum, Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall.
Over the past year Cablevision has added nine free HD channels across its service area: ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD, ESPNews, ESPNU, MSG Varsity, Nat Geo Wild, Telefutura and Univision.
It has also continued to add free On Demand programming, including prime time shows from ABC and NBC and content from ABC Family, Telemundo, TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies and The Weather Channel.
Cablevision provides cable television service to more than 3 million customers in the New York metropolitan area, with 96 percent having chosen the company's iO TV digital cable service, the highest digital penetration in the country. It provides Optimum Online high-speed Internet service to 2.6 million customers, more than 54 percent of the homes passed by its fiber-rich network, and Optimum Voice service to 2.1 million customers, nearly 44 percent of the homes in the company's service area.
More than 80 percent of Cablevision customers take more than one of the company's video, voice and Internet products, and two thirds of new customers take all three when first establishing service, under the Optimum Triple Play offer, which has been in effect since 2004 and gives both new and existing cable television customers the opportunity to subscribe to all three Optimum services for just $29.95 a month, per service, for 12 months, which is less than $90.