Cablevision Systems is the latest multichannel video
distributor to implement a monthly surcharge to cover the high cost of sports
programming, slapping a $2.98 Sports Programming Surcharge on customers'
monthly bills beginning in April.
"We are very focused on the price our customers pay for
our services, and the value we deliver," said Cablevision's vice president
of video product management Bradley Feldman in a statement. "We have not
raised our cable television prices in more than two years, even as we have
added channels, On Demand content, new TV to GO services and other benefits.
Unfortunately, the rising cost of programming has resulted in this sports
surcharge, which is similar to those introduced by other TV providers."
The Sports Programming Surcharge will be applied to cable
television customers subscribing to Family or Value packages or above.
Cablevision is also implementing a modest $2-per-month adjustment to the price
of its Optimum en Espanol Spanish-language package, which includes more than 45
Spanish-language channels. The rate of commercial cable television service
offered through Optimum Business will increase by $4 per month.
Cablevision has about 3 million customers in the New York
metropolitan area, which is served by several regional sports networks
including Madison Square Garden Network, the Yankees Entertainment & Sports
Network and SNY, the cable home of the New York Mets. The MSO spun
off its Madison Square Garden unit, which includes its sports teams, arenas
and RSNs in 2010.