Cable rates are rising, but what are you paying for?

Zach Honig
Z. Honig|08.12.14

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Zach Honig
August 12th, 2014
Cable rates are rising, but what are you paying for?

On average, Americans are paying more for TV service than ever before -- $64.41 per month as of January 2013, according to the FCC, though if you add any premium channels and DVR to the mix, that figure can increase twofold or more. Earlier this year, the FCC released a report stating that from 2012 to 2013, the average monthly price of basic cable jumped 5.1 percent, while the average price per channel increased by just 2.1 percent. More cable channels are to blame, but programming costs have also jumped, according to Comcast executives cited in a New York Times report.

Technically, you're paying more to get more, but I barely venture beyond the staples: Comedy Central, local broadcast channels and The Food Network. And occasionally Showtime or HBO. I spent a day with my Verizon FiOS remote (and the handy streaming app) to see what else, exactly, I was paying $92.99 for -- before internet, taxes and equipment-rental fees. Turns out, there's a lot of garbage on the tube, and an even greater amount of redundancy.

Gallery: 30 cable TV channels you didn't know you were paying for | 37 Photos

  • Fusion (FiOS channel 108) - 'Good Morning Today' offers
  • One America News Network (FiOS channel 116) - The latest breaking national and international news
  • American Heroes Channel (FiOS channel 125) - Surviving Katrina
  • H2 (FiOS channel 127) - 'Gangland: Army of Hate'
  • LRW (FiOS channel 142) - 'Cook Yourself Thin'
  • Jewelry Television (FiOS channel 152) - Pittura by Tori H
  • Esquire Network (FiOS channel 160) - 'Burn Notice: Army of One'
  • Discovery Fit & Health (FiOS channel 163) - 'Untold Stories of the ER: Deadly Impact'
  • Crime and Investigation (FiOS channel 182) - 'Casanova Killers: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing'
  • Logo (FiOS channel 187) - 'Designing Women: A Toe in the Water'
  • Chiller (FiOS channel 193) - 'Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction'
  • MTV Jams (FiOS channel 213) - Two for Tuesday
  • Centric (FiOS channel 220) - 'Girlfriends'
  • FXM (FiOS channel 232) - 'The Alligator People'
  • SundanceTV (FiOS channel 235) - 'Sea of Love'
  • Sprout (FiOS channel 263) - 'Tree Fu Tom'
  • TBN (FiOS channel 295) - Trinity Broadcasting Network
  • Live Well Network (FiOS channel 467) - 'Best Recipes Ever'
  • NHK World (FiOS channel 482) - 'Newsline'
  • Qubo (FiOS channel 491) - 'Anne of Green Gables'
  • Ion Life (FiOS channel 492) - 'Diva on a Dime'
  • beIN Sports (FiOS channel 598) - UEFA Super Cup Soccer
  • Al Jazeera America (FiOS channel 614) - 'Borderland'
  • FYI (FiOS channel 629) - 'Flip This House'
  • Velocity (FiOS channel 631) - 'Jesse James: Outlaw Garage'
  • LMN (FiOS channel 641) - 'A Trusted Man'
  • We (FiOS channel 649) - 'Will & Grace'
  • Cooking Channel (FiOS channel 667) - 'Man Fire Food'
  • Destination America (FiOS channel 668) - 'A Haunting: Hidden Terror'
  • AWE (FiOS channel 669) - 'Short History of the World'
  • truTV (FiOS channel 683) - 'World's Dumbest Brawlers'
  • Pivot (FiOS channel 692) - 'The Future of Water'
  • TVGN (FiOS channel 694) - '7th Heaven: The Color of God'
  • Palladia (FiOS channel 715) - Benicassim Festival 2013
  • Sony Movie Channel (FiOS channel 735) - 'Baby Blue Marine'
  • Hub Network (FiOS channel 789) - 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic'
  • EPIX (FiOS channel 895) - Girl Most Likely
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