Local News

Satellite TV 'Dishes' Out Punishment To Cable Providers

Posted February 2, 2000

— The change in local TV has heightened the competition between satellite providers and cable companies. In the end, the winner could be the consumer.

Satellite providers say they have "dished" out some punishment to Triangle cable companies in recent weeks.

Sales at the Dish Doctor have tripled. "The biggest problem that we have is getting systems installed," said Ed Jenkins. "We are hiring new installers right now."

One big reason is a free installation deal plus a competitive programming selection.

John Gerzsenyi just made the switch from cable. He was paying $37 a month for 40 cable channels. Satellite TV will cost him $45 for 100 channels and 100 digital/audio channels.

"It's slightly more money, but they have a whole lot more," Gerzsenyi said. "For that much more money, I will get more service."

Jenkins says that there is more to it than that.

"Cable now has a true competitor," Jenkins said. "Up until recently when we had the local channels come to the market, Cablevision didn't really have any competition, hence, the cable rates every year."

Time Warner Cablesays the satellite surge will not bring its prices down, but it is concerned about its competitor and plans to roll out a number of new options for customers.

"We're offering digital cable services with over 200 channels," said Brad Phillips, Time Warner Cable spokesman. "We're offeringRoad Runner service, a high-speed cable modem service. Our customers are starting to see more opportunities for more services come from their cable provider."

Time Warner Cable says prices will not go down in the future, but they will not go up either. Time-Warner also says the digital cable feature may be coming to parts of the Triangle within six months.

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