Daily Press article......sounds pretty unbiased. They sometimes have a spin on their Cox articles. Just to give you guys a little more info
Cox Communications is increasing the monthly price for Internet access by $2 and the price for cable television by $2.65 in January. In addition, the company will drop the cost of its high-definition/digital video recorder box from $9.95 a month to $5.50 - the same price as a regular cable box.
This means HDTV owners will get programming from Cox at no extra charge. Also, Cox is adding ESPN2 in high definition and says it is close to agreements to add the NBC and Fox stations in HDTV, major holes in its current programming.
The changes at Cox come as Verizon Communications and Cavalier Telephone take advantage of a new state law to compete with Cox on cable television and high-speed Internet. Both companies are working out agreements with Hampton Roads governments to start selling TV service.
Cox is betting that as prices plummet for HDTV sets, consumers will place a higher value on receiving HDTV channels. Wal-Mart already has announced deep discounts on the sets for the holidays. A high-definition television set offers a better picture, but the clarity increases while watching HDTV channels.
"After the Christmas holiday season is over, you're going to find that a lot of people have made that decision," said Thom Prevette, spokesman for Cox in Hampton Roads.
The price reduction for the box means a lower price for a digital video recorder, which allows people to watch shows whenever they want and fast-forward through commercials. But there is also a $4.95 fee to use this service, and Cox is raising it to $9.50 a month in 2007. With the price of the service rising slightly more than the price of the box is dropping, these subscribers will pay 10 cents more total.
When ESPN2 joins the HDTV lineup on Dec. 13, it will take the number of HDTV channels to 10. Subscribers to premium channels have more. Cox must agree on terms with local broadcast affiliates to transmit their HDTV signals, and currently, Cox transmits the CBS and PBS affiliates.
But the cable company is still not close to an agreement with the Belo-owned ABC affiliate. And there have been fights with Lin Television over the Fox and NBC channels.
Those talks have improved, said Prevette, who expects a deal "very soon."
"Everybody involved is very much aware that the growth of HDTV sets in homes has just exploded," said Prevette.
More sports will be added to Cox on ESPNU, which airs college sports. And Cox has reached an agreement to carry the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which is run by the owners of the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals and broadcasts the baseball teams exclusively.
The fans of these teams have long complained that Cox does not air the games. But to get the rights, Cox had to put the channel on standard cable.
The digital NFL Network channel plans to add eight Thursday night football games starting on Thanksgiving.
The NFL Network has fought with cable systems, including Cox, over whether the fledgling league-owned network would allow cable companies to place it on a digital tier.
Cox expects a rush on HDTV boxes at the end of this year as people buy the sets for Christmas and take advantage of the price decrease on the box. The cable company ordered extra boxes, which consumers can pick up at Cox service centers or get delivered for a fee.