Despite a weak economy and more online options for viewers, satellite and cable operators will, once again, increase their prices in 2011
. According to The Hollywood Reporter, analyst Craig Moffett predicts that most of the average price increases will be in the mid-to-low single-digit percentages. If you're a glass-half-full kind of person, these increases will, for the most part, be smaller than last year -- so there's that. However, Dish Network customers could see their bills jump by as much as 11-percent in the new year because the company, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to institute a larger percentage increase in order to keep prices more stable over the next two years. Cablevision is making the smallest increase, at 3-percent, and DirecTV and AT&T's U-verse follow with a 4-percent increase. Other companies, like Comcast and Timer Warner Cable, will increase their prices, but Moffett couldn't accurately determine by how much, because his sample size was too small.
Obviously, all of these numbers will vary based on where customers live and what packages or plans they purchase. But no matter how you slice it, customers will pay more on average for TV than they did last year. Moffett says subscriptions to satellite and cable TV has declined each of the last two quarters. However, he believes this happened because people simply couldn't afford massive TV bills -- not because they decided to cut cords and go online for their TV fix. Until these companies really believe consumers would rather visit Hulu or purchase a Netflix subscription than mortgage their home to pay for satellite or cable, expect this trend to continue.