Posted February 3, 2021

Network Increases

As a video provider, Pioneer Communications is faced with the harsh reality of passing annual rate increases through to our customers. As a result of programming rate increases, the subscription rate for StreamTV small, medium, and large packages will increase by $7.00 per month effective February 28, 2021.

Pioneer Communications regrets the need for a rate increase; however, as illustrated in the chart to the right, network programming costs continue to increase at an alarming rate. Programming rates are frustrating for us as a provider and they are frustrating for you as a customer. Programmers like ESPN, ABC, TBS, NBC, etc., are raising their prices for us to carry their channels at unsustainable rates of 40%, 50%, even 100% year after year. Increases like this have taken a toll on the video business model and we've worked hard to keep prices as low as possible.  Since 2012, some programming costs have increased more than 750%. If other commodities that we consume daily increased at the rate that video content did over the last 9 years, a gallon of gas would cost $22, cup of coffee $22, and a gallon of milk $29.

Growth Rate Comparison
As a member owned cooperative, we strive to make decisions in the best interest of our members and we understand your frustrations. Even companies hundreds of times larger than Pioneer Communications are struggling with the increased cost in programming. 2021 rate increases include: DirecTV - $9.00, Dish Network - $5.00, AT&T - $9.00, YouTube TV - $15.00, Hulu Live - $10.00. 

Percentage pie chart of what Pioneer keeps and what programmers receive.
While annual increases are expected and budgeted for, the way network programmers do business with video providers is less than optimal. There are only seven or eight companies who own a vast majority of all cable networks. This allows these networks to force providers like Pioneer Communications to carry many, if not all, of the channels owned by these large corporations, including unwanted channels. They force large rate increases, require channel launches and compel lineup demands. The deck is really stacked against the video provider and you, the customer.

As shown in the chart to the right, the vast majority of your StreamTV bill goes straight to programmers like ABC, FOX, ESPN, Disney, etc. Very little actually stays with Pioneer Communications to pay operating expenses, maintain the network, and upgrade equipment. Pioneer Communications gets the bad rap for high prices because we're the one to whom you pay your bill. Please know that we work very hard to keep your prices competitive and we're just as frustrated with them as you are. Contact us if you have questions about the upcoming rate adjustments by calling 1-800-308-7536, or visit our website at www.pioncomm.net/streamtv.

Thank you for your business,

Pioneer Communications