Mediacom, in the midst of a retransmission battle with Sinclair Broadcasting Group in 12 small to middle-sized markets, is telling customers that starting in March, they'll be paying more for some services.
But Tom Larsen, Mediacom's vice president for legal affairs, says the rate increases have nothing to do with the cable company's lingering battle with Sinclair, which on Jan. 6 yanked 23 of its stations off Mediacom systems in a dispute over retransmission.
Larsen says the rate increases largely pertain to charges for Internet service, installation charges and increases for customers getting digital service.
"The rate hikes are limited in scope," Larsen says. "But if we lose this fight with Sinclair, that could have a dramatic effect on rates."
Sinclair has been demanding cash payments for carriage of its channels in Mediacom markets in communities including including Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Altogether the dispute is keeping Sinclair stations out of 700,000 homes in several states. That's about half the homes Mediacom serves.