The priciest cable TV service in America has seen its price tag increase more than 60 percent over the past two years, according to new data from the company that owns it.
In February 2017, the cheapest tier of the company’s new Sling TV bundle had an asking price of $30 per month.
That rose to $50 per month in July 2017, and to $70 per month a month in September 2017.
That was $7,500 per month more than its competitor, DirecTV Now.
In September, Sling CEO Mike Hopkins told Bloomberg TV that the company would continue to charge subscribers for the service, but not increase its price.
That’s because, Hopkins said, Sled customers were paying for the TV service rather than the cable channel they want.
“Our customers are paying for our content,” Hopkins said at the time.
“They’re not paying for their cable service.”
In May, the company updated its Sling pricing to include $30 a month for its “standard” package, which costs $60 a month.
The “standard package” includes basic channels like CNN, HBO and Showtime.
The company’s top tier, the “all-you-can-eat” Sling package, has an asking fee of $150 a month and the “premium” Sled package costs $200 a month, which includes the premium channels plus HBO.
But Hopkins has since changed his tune, saying that Sling will “continue to charge” for the Sling channel even though it’s not part of the Sled bundle.
In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Hopkins reiterated his remarks about not raising prices on Sling customers.
He said he would “keep that pricing as it is” for now, and that Sleds top tier would remain unchanged.
But the company still plans to raise the price of its top tier for “a limited period” and offer “a bigger bundle” later this year.
Hopkins said he didn’t know how long the “limited period” would last.
The top tier has a price tag of $70 a month before taxes and fees.
Sling said it expects the pricing increase to have no impact on customers’ monthly bills.
In a statement to Bloomberg TV, the telecom said the change was a result of the “unexpected and significant increase in the cost of our services,” but that it had adjusted its prices to reflect this increase.
“We will continue to increase the value of our service and are committed to providing our customers with a fair, competitive package of high-quality channels for the benefit of their family and friends,” Hopkins told the TV network.
“Sling TV is a product that is built to serve its customers well and provide access to a wide range of programming and entertainment for a wide variety of entertainment types.”
But many analysts have questioned whether the price hike is justified, given the company has made a profit in each of the past three years.
The price hike comes after the company had seen its stock price fall by more than a quarter in 2017.
The stock was trading down by $20 before the price increase.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Slices of Sling’s cable business have fallen more than 80 percent from the previous year.
The median monthly bill for a typical subscriber has increased by $7.99 since 2015.