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TCI to Raise Its Cable Rates

March 14, 1997|Bloomberg News

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Cable TV operator TCI Communications Inc. said it plans to raise rates for 11 million customers by an average of about 6.8% on June 1 to help recover its basic and expanded-basic delivery costs.

The rate increase affects the 80% of TCI customers living in areas where governments regulate rates. Earlier this year, TCI raised rates 6% to 7% for its 3 million unregulated customers.

The moves come as the nation's largest cable TV company struggles to boost cash flow in an increasingly competitive environment.

TCI and other cable companies face threats from direct-broadcast satellite TV, which offers more channels and better picture quality. TCI is under pressure to improve its finances and lower its $14.5 billion in debt.

The company said its cable rates will still be lower than those charged by satellite TV providers for similar services.

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