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Local News in Brief : Cable Rates Hiked Again

December 17, 1987

For the second time in less than 10 months, M. L. Media cable television company has raised its rates for the company's Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach customers, effective Jan. 1.

Basic service rates will be increased $2, to $14.95 from $12.95--about a 15% raise. The rate for the Showtime/Movie Channel package will be raised $3.05, to $19 from $15.95--about a 19% increase. The rates for the remaining services will remain the same.

M. L. Media took over cable operations from Storer Cable in January and raised the rates in March. The basic, 12-channel service was increased at that time to $12.95 from $9.92.

In a letter to Manhattan Beach City Council members dated Nov. 23, Richard J. Waterman, vice president and general manager of M. L. Media, wrote: "There are two primary reasons for the rate increase--increased costs of doing business, including significant expenditures to improve the technical quality of the system, and significant increases in costs from our program suppliers for the rights to carry their services (such as ESPN, Cable News Network, etc.)."

Hermosa Beach General Services Director Joan Noon said complaints about cable service have decreased substantially in recent months. Complaints to Manhattan Beach City Hall have continued, according to a staff report.

The cities have had no control over rate increases since the 1984 U.S. Cable Franchise Policy and Communications Act, which deregulated cable television.

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