Follow-up National Survey of Cable Television Rates and Services

T-RCED-90-89: Published: Jun 14, 1990. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 1990.

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GAO discussed cable television rates and services. GAO found that: (1) basic rates have continued to increase at a significant rate; (2) in 1989 cable subscribers' average monthly rates for the lowest-priced basic service increased by 10 percent; (3) average monthly rates for the most popular basic service also increased about 10 percent; (4) cable subscribers received additional basic channels to accompany rate increases; (5) cable systems that were regulated in November 1986 had greater rate increases through December 1989 than those systems that were not regulated; and (6) 53 percent of cable systems had changed ownership since 1985. GAO also noted that: (1) the availability of options and charges for premium services showed little change compared with 1988 data; (2) cable operators' per-subscriber revenue has increased 21 percent over the past 3 years; (3) during 1989, per-subscriber revenue increased 5 percent; (4) total cable subscriptions continued to grow, increasing by 22 percent after deregulation; (5) the number of homes accessible to cable grew by 14 percent; and (6) the total number of cable subscribers as a percentage of homes accessible to cable increased from 56 to 58 percent.

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