Cable rates are very difficult to compare or track from year to year, but MACC tries to provide that information here:
Please note all the caveats.
MACC began tracking Comcast (then TCI Cable) rates in 1995, when most cable television rates were regulated locally. In 1996, Congress deregulated higher tier rates with the expectation that competition would constrain rates. MACC and other localities retained the ability to review the lowest tier of service rates (Basic) through 2013. In 2013, Comcast took advantage of Federal Communication Commission rules (updated here) that provide for relief from local regulation – also based on the theory that competition constrains cable rates.
In 2007, Verizon (now Frontier) began providing a competitive cable service in most of Washington County.
Since 2013, Comcast, Frontier, and other cable operators, as well as satellite providers, have implemented a variety of Sports Programming Fees and Broadcast Fees. These fees are described by the companies as "transparency" or a way to recoup the cost they pay to sports networks (e.g., ESPN and CSNNW) and the local network affiliates (KATU-2, KGW-8, KOIN-6 and others) that provide programming on the cable system.
Some consumer advocates believe these fees are not appropriate or even hypocritical, because a portion of some fees are based on costs imposed on Comcast’s cable operations by other Comcast holdings.
Following the FCC’s 2013 Order, however, there is little MACC or other local governments can do to formally address rate increases. We recommend shopping around and contacting your cable provider to ensure you are getting the best deal available.
Contact MACC if you have questions.
In August 2013, Comcast asked the Federal Communications Commission for relief from Rate Regulation in the MACC Area. That relief was granted.
Nevertheless, MACC continues to monitor rates and press the cable operators for answers to concerns that rates are rising at an unsupportable level.