MPSC report: Cable providers up in 2018, while subscribers decline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   February 1, 2019

Contact: Nick Assendelft 517-284-8300
Customer Assistance: 800-292-9555
www.michigan.gov/mpsc
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LANSING, Mich. – The number of video and cable television providers in Michigan increased to 39 serving nearly 2 million customers, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission’s annual Status of Competition for Video Services in Michigan report released today.

The number of franchise agreements between providers and municipalities increased by 44 in 2018, to a total of 2,104, according to the report based on responses by providers to an MPSC survey. The report, which must be submitted to the Governor and Legislature by Feb. 1 each year, does not include satellite TV providers, which do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act.

The number of providers increased by one from 38 in 2017 while the number of customers decreased by 42,954, to a total of 1,999,072, according to the report. The number of customers has declined for the third year in a row from a recent high of 2,351,000 in 2015. Sixty-six percent of providers said they saw a decrease in their number of customers.

About half of the video and cable TV providers who responded to the MPSC’s voluntary survey reported investing more than $3 million in Michigan in 2018 and more than $1.2 billion since the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act took effect in 2006.

The Commission works to resolve disputes between customers, municipalities and service providers. The MPSC received 806 customer complaints last year, down from 860 in 2017. The most common complaint was regarding billing charges, followed by cable line issues and equipment or service problems. A complaint form can be found at the MPSC’s Video/Cable webpage.

The webpage also lists contact information for service providers in Michigan, an interactive broadband map, and consumer tips.

The report is based on franchise entities and video and cable television providers who responded to MPSC surveys, and other information that the Commission gathers.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc, sign up for one of its listservs, or follow the Commission on Twitter. To watch a livestream of the MPSC’s meetings, click here.

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