The cable company joins DirecTV and Verizon in tacking a special fee on to monthly bills that calls attention to the rising price of sports programming. Cablevision says it will charge $2.98 a month beginning in April, adding that it has not raised its basic TV subscription price since late 2010. “Unfortunately, the rising cost of programming has resulted in this sports surcharge, which is similar to those introduced by other TV providers,” says VP Bradley Feldman. Cablevision spun off Madison Square Garden, which has the MSG regional sports network, although the family of CEO James Dolan controls both companies. DirecTV said last week that it will expand the territories where it has a $3 a month surcharge — in part to cover the cost of regional sports networks — and charge current customers as well as new ones. “I believe the whole sports business model is broken, and that the only alternative that we have if we’re going to carry sports channels in these few markets that are completely out of control and unaffordable frankly for the average consumer is with some kind of a surcharge,” CEO Mike White said.
Here’s Cablevision’s release: (more…)