If you want to enjoy summer TV in its truest, purest form, it’s essential to get a good source for that.
Here’s what you need to know.
TV providers have to make some money.
But not nearly as much as you think.
The TV industry’s operating profit margins for the last five years have been between 20% and 25%.
If you’re a cord-cutter who’s been buying your own cable or satellite service and watching only one channel, you’re looking at a loss of about $1,200 per year.
And you’re not alone.
A Pew Research Center report found that about 70% of the households in the U.S. own no more than a few hundred dollars in their homes.
A report from Consumer Reports in March found that the average household income for Americans with children was $27,965, down from $33,067 in 2008.
Cable providers are in the middle of a boom.
And they’re paying attention.
The year-to-date growth in U., Canada and European TV prices is outpacing those in the telecommunications industry.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the top 10 cable providers saw their profit margins soar by 14% to $1.1 billion, while the industry’s average profit margin fell to 6.2%.
The companies that make the highest-priced TV packages — like AT&T, Comcast and Charter — are already benefiting from an upsurge in consumer demand for low-cost content.
The Journal reported on the trend in April: “Comcast, for example, recently boosted its cable packages to offer subscribers a mix of channels, including more live sports, as well as new streaming video programming from its partners such as Amazon Prime Video.”
Consumers have been waiting for TV to become more affordable.
A 2016 study from the Federal Communications Commission found that nearly half of American households have never purchased a TV package, but the average price per month has risen to $20 from $17 in 2008, according to research firm Kantar Media.
A new study from The Wall St. Journal reported last week that TV spending is at its highest point in at least two decades, and that it’s set to continue to rise at a faster rate than other consumer expenditures.
Cable operators are still struggling.
The U.K. Cable Association says it’s expecting a 20% increase in subscription fees for the year, but it doesn’t expect to see that increase offsetting the economic gains in the cable industry.
In the U, consumers spend more than half of their household income on cable and satellite TV, according a survey by Kantar.
The industry’s profit margins fell to 5.6% last year, according the Journal.
The cable industry has to continue growing.
But the industry is facing some growing pains.
In January, the FCC said it would regulate cable companies as a telecommunications carrier.
It also approved new rules for how TV broadcasters and pay-TV providers must operate.
That includes requiring that pay-tv providers also be owned and operated by a public utility, and requiring that they have access to customers’ credit cards, and other consumer data.
The FCC is trying to limit how much you can pay.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said last month that the commission is “working on rules that would require that pay TV providers provide more of what they’re selling to consumers.”
But Wheeler also said that “any rule that reduces the incentive to pay for pay TV service is going to be met with opposition.”
So it remains to be seen if that opposition will continue.
The new FCC chairman said the rules are “intensely complex.”
But the new rules are likely to get easier as more people pay for cable and broadcast services online.
And some of the regulations are already changing how cable providers operate.
The rules, Wheeler said, “require all cable companies to obtain customers’ consent before sharing any information on them or the type of services they offer, such as the channels they carry.”
Cable companies say the FCC is creating new rules to “limit their ability to do business.”
But some analysts say that’s just what the FCC wants to do.
Comcast is fighting a proposed $100-per-month cap on its fees for TV and broadband customers, which the FCC recently rejected.
The company argues that a $100 cap would “simply mean that cable and broadband providers will have to sell fewer packages.”
The FCC also recently rejected a proposal from Comcast to raise its fees to $100 for all customers.
But Wheeler told The Washington Post that his FCC would “review that and if that is the case we will likely go to the Commission to reconsider that.”
Cable industry watchers say it’s too early to tell how the rules will affect cable companies.
But some observers predict that the FCC will move to limit the number of channels that can be offered for cable customers.
That could lead to more competitors in the market