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Posted: Saturday, 04 January 2014 7:58AM

Higher cable and satellite TV ahead

South Louisiana consumers can expect to see higher cable and satellite TV bills in the new year.

Cox, AT&T, DirecTV and Dish Network are all increasing monthly rates in January, due to the rising fees they have to pay national cable networks and local broadcast networks in order to carry their programs.

Cox’s increases are set to take effect Jan. 14 across its south Louisiana market.

The exact amount of the increase will vary, based on the channels a customer receives or any bundling with Internet or digital phone service.

The average increase for Cox customers will be less than $12 per month.

One of the biggest drivers in the rising cable rates is the cost of carrying sports channels, such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1 and The SEC Network, set to launch in the summer.

AT&T U-verse service will go up Jan. 26, with customers paying $3 a month more for all service plans (except for U-basic) and paying a $2.99 monthly broadcast TV surcharge, which offsets what local TV networks charge the company to carry their programs.

The two major satellite providers also are raising rates on most customers in early 2014.

Most Dish Network subscribers will pay $5 a month more for service, effective Jan. 17.

But those who have the company’s Smart Pack plan will see a $3 monthly increase, to $33, and the cost of the bare bones Welcome and the America’s Choice 120+ plan will stay the same.

DirecTV rate increases range from $3 more monthly for its basic Entertainment plan to $5 more for its Premier package. The increases will take effect sometime in February.

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