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Total Cost of 'Low Price' Telco Basic TV

Telcos diversifying into multichannel TV make a priority of undercutting pricing of incumbent cable TV operators for basic TV, but Kagan Research notes that differences evaporate as consumers pile on extra services. Consumers taking the full range of triple play services with comparable products will spend $100-130 per month, with cable sometimes offering the lower-priced bundle.

"A lack of uniform pricing across the markets and frequent promotional schemes geared at attracting new customers make it difficult to comparison shop," says Mariam Rondeli, associate analyst at Kagan Research. "In addition, telco customers tend to pay higher regulatory fees and taxes. Despite price differentials on individual product lines offered by the competitors, the costs of the triple-play bundle for cable and regional Bell operating companies (RBOC) remain comparable."

Looking at an IPTV bundle, telco Verizon's triple-play offers VoiceWing Unlimited plus FiOS Internet and TV priced at approximately $105 per month base price -- the most aggressive telco offer currently on the market. However, this can creep up to the $120 per month of similar cable packages when including all mandatory federal, state, local government fees and taxes.

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