Those of you Central Kitsap residents who subscribe to Wave Cable should have received a letter recently announcing yet another increase in cable rates next month. I don’t want to turn this posting into one long complaint, but I really wonder when this is all going to end.
Apparently, the rate increase this time is due to increases in the cost of premium movie channels like HBO and Showtime, and also due to increased fees being charged to the cable operator by the Seattle/Tacoma television stations, which apparently have been given the authority to charge cable systems for putting their signals on the system for cable subscribers.
Now I guess I can understand that the cost of premium channels could go up periodically, though the cost of Dish and Direct TV packages with premium movie channels never seem to increase like the charges coming from Wave Cable. But how is it that local broadcast channels can get away with charging cable for distributing their signal. In fact. the signals from those local channels are barely good enough to get without cable in our area. You would think that the local channels would be happy to get extra distribution from the cable systems because it means more viewers for them.
I’m not an attorney conversant in tele- and cable-cast laws, but it’s my understanding that cable systems have always been required to provide the local broadcast television stations for their subscribers. If KOMO and KING and KIRO are going to force my cable rates up by charging Wave Cable a new fee, then, to be honest, I’d rather get my ABC, NBC and CBS shows off cable from stations in other markets that won’t charge those fees. To be honest, I find the news offerings of the Seattle television stations to be absolutely worthless, unless your sole news interest is in some garage fire in some Seattle neighborhood. They don’t cover state news from Olympia; they don’t cover important issues; they simply chase flashing lights until they find an accident scene they can put on TV.
So I’m wondering why Wave Cable shouldn’t be allowed to simply offer a network feed in place of the local channels that now want to charge a fee for putting their programs on the cable system?
I hate myself for allowing myself to become so dependent on the cable system. I use a cable modem for internet access, which in today’s world is a necessity. I use the internet for my VOIP phone service. And I use cable for TV signals; and pay extra because there’s no point in having an HD television if you don’t also make sure you have HD programming (extra cost on Wave).
Yet when I look at other sources, I am led to believe that were I to obtain satellite service for my TV signals, I would be getting more HD channels and more premium channels for a cheaper price than I pay for cable. So why haven’t I switched to satellite television? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the merits of cable versus satellite, especially if you are a satellite subscriber.