Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania

Issue Briefs

Cable's Value

In a highly competitive multichannel video marketplace, consumers are enjoying better value for their money as a result of the availability of more choices, higher quality programming and more advanced technology.

Since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, competition spurred the Commonwealth's cable companies to invest more than $8 billion to deploy new broadband networks, leading to the introduction of exciting new interactive services that can meet Pennsylvanians' total entertainment, communication and lifestyle needs.

With a "triple-play" of high-speed Internet, digital voice, and digital video services, consumers are saving real money on their household spending. Customers who purchase the triple play pay 31% less today, on an inflation-adjusted basis, than they paid for the three services 12 years ago - and the quality and breadth of all three services is significantly better.

Due to its dramatic expansion of offerings to customers choosing from a variety of programming tiers, cable's video service is a tremendous entertainment value - costing just pennies for every hour of viewing. By using an "Hourly Price Per Person" metric, cable consumers in 2012 paid just 21 cents per viewing hour, less than Netflix customers and purchasers of newspapers, magazines and iTunes.

Again, the growth of video options and services has been enormous, and constant. Looking at the last twenty years, the number of national and regional cable networks has soared from 101 to 900.

As a result, HD service is now available through cable companies to more than 100 million U.S. households. Cable prices reflect the actual cost of providing new services to customers, including the increased cost of creating award-winning programming, building and maintaining fiber-optic networks and significant labor costs to hire and train employees in an increasingly sophisticated environment.

With the introduction of digital, HD and interactivity, video offerings have changed dramatically since the mid-1990s and consumers now have more choice than ever before. With hundreds of programming options, better picture and sound quality and the proliferation of exciting new interactive services, today's video service hardly resembles the service available years ago.