A huge merger looms in the cable industry that is certain to shake things up. Comcast has agreed to purchase Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. The deal still needs to be approved by the federal government but if it does go through, the two would become a massive cable giant, serving one out of every three homes in the United States.
The first and primary concern that subscribers have is that this will result in higher cable bills. Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, told CNN that Americans already hate dealing with the cable guy, and both of these giant companies regularly rank among the worst in customer surveys. He went on to say this deal would be the cable guy on steroids, pumped up, unstoppable and grasping for your wallet.
It's too early to tell if that's going to be the case, but we do know if it is approved, Comcast will serve about 30 million pay TV customers and 32 million internet subscribers across the country.
Like most big mergers, the quality in service usually takes a hit for a couple of years before things are smoothed out. So, customers may experience a few more headaches than usual with their cable.
What Comcast will certainly want to aim for is to continue offering the bundle package to customers which combines cable, internet, and phone into one bill.
As far as service goes, this could be a win for Time Warner Cable customers. Comcast has a wider menu of channels and services, so the amount of channels they currently have access to would increase.
And if the merger goes through, Comcast would also become the largest broadband provider in the United States.
Many consumers already pay more for TV and internet service than they do heat or electricity.
Cable prices have increased consistently over the years. Tech industry analyst Jeff Kagan told CNN the price customers pay for cable roughly doubles every 10 years.