Tacoma’s City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved another round of rate hikes for subscribers of the city-owned Click Cable TV network.
The adopted rate changes will increase monthly bills by 5 percent to 10 percent, depending on a subscriber’s cable service.
They range from an additional $1.49 per month for Click’s lowest-level “broadcast” subscriber, to an extra $4.01 for patrons who live inside Tacoma and subscribe to its “standard” package. Late payment charges also will increase for all customers — climbing from $5.99 to $6.99.
The new rates will take effect Aug. 1 — seven months after Click’s last rate increase. Those rate changes increased Click customers’ monthly cable bills by an average of 9.8 percent and doubled late payment charges from $3 to the current $5.99.
The latest increase marks the fifth rate hike in Click’s rates since 2010, with the rates for the network’s two most popular cable services rising 67 percent to 82 percent over that time span.
The adopted rate changes are part of Tacoma Public Utilities’ ongoing plan to help Click keep pace with rising programming expenses imposed on the cable provider by broadcasters, officials have said.
Click’s programming costs — mostly per-subscriber licensing fees charged by local and national broadcasters — now account for about 60 percent of Click’s cable costs.
Local broadcasters have refused to publicly disclose the exact fees they charge Click for airing KOMO, KING, KIRO and other typically free-over-the-air channels, contending such pricing information is a trade secret.
The News Tribune is appealing a Pierce County judge’s order allowing the broadcasters to keep such information secret.