Cable firm vows no more price hikes this year

| 29/06/2010

(CNS): With utility CUC bills poised to increase by 5.5% and expectations that other goods and services will go up as a result of the fuel duty increase, the CEO of WestStar TV, Rod Hansen, has promised no more hikes for cable TV. WestStar is also reducing the rates of four of the premiere packages by 10 percent. “We understand that times are tough – everyone’s expenses have gone up, and will continue to do so with the proposed increase on fuel duty,” Hansen said. 

“Our expenses have increased dramatically as businesses are paying more fees to government,” he said. However, the WestStar boss said this would not be passed on to cable operator’s customers. “We have not raised rates for non-strata residential customers in over four years,” Hansen noted. In the last year WestStar has introduced new services such as HDTV and DVR, and added cable packages, the firm stated, to meet the needs of customers with less disposable income.
“We now have 16 HD channels and are working on acquiring more channels in both HD and SD,” he said, adding that with Digital Starter customers can get digital cable starting at just $39 per month.
Additionally, WestStar is reducing the rates of four of the premiere packages by 10 per cent. Subscribers to Family and Variety, Sports and Info, Movie Plus, or Alternative Language will see a 10 percent decrease effective 1 July. Subscribers to Movie Plus, for example, will see the monthly fee go from $20 to $18.
“We have been a part of this community for over 17 years, and have grown from a small operation offering 12 analogue channels, to fully digital service with over 100 channels – we are committed to the growth, development and success of this community,” Hansen added.
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  1. Seriously? says:

    I was paying over $100 a month to Weststar for cable TV until I finally made the decision to get rid of it a few months ago; their dodgy internet is about to get returned as well.  Their customer service is non-existent and half the time their TV guide is wrong.  Fat lot of good having a PVR does you.  You think you’re taping your favourite programme, until you come to watch it.  And don’t get me started on those dodgy PVRs!!

    A total waste of money!  Happily, I am now back to reading books and doing constructive things with my time, rather than sitting on my couch watching mindless TV.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Man … tough crowd!

    If I had read the comments before the actual article, I would have though that the press release said " … vows more price hikes this year".


  3. Anonymous says:

    They can’t justify the rediculous prices they charge already!!!!!!!!

  4. Rectus femoris says:

    Question for Mr. Hansen:  Does WestStar have the legal right to every one of the channels it now delivers? Or are some of them simply snatched off of satellite feeds without written legal permission and delivered to your subscribers? 

    This is not an accusation. It is just a question. 

    Two reasons for asking this are: the long tradition here of many Caymanian media companies ignoring international copyright lawsand rumors that the reason WestStar frequently replaces channels without prior notice is because channels are sometimes scrambled to frustrate nonsubscribers who are stealing the signal.  

    Again, just asking, not accusing. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    In these times, with all these ridiculous price increases, I’ll take any discount they’re offering and appreciate any "freeze" on charges to us, the consumer.Like many other companies, they could easily hide behind import duty increases, fuel duty increases, work permit increases and whatever other increase government has implemented that may have slipped my mind. From what I hear, Hurleys recently decided to discontinue the 10% off Wednesday, and I still don’t understand that one, especially given that they’re one of the most expensive grocery stores on island. Surely they could keep that one day going. It’s scary to think that next month a lot of people will be seeing a cut to their salary and we’re still hearing about government increases. What’s even scarier is that those same people should be thankful, I suppose, that they still have a job to go to when others don’t have jobs at all, and they should just try to figure out from here how they’re going to pay the mortgage, school fees and bills. It’s tough. So many of us are suffering and it’s all because of mismanagement. Just think, it’s a freeze/discount on our bill and at the same time a freeze/discount on McKeeva’s bill that we’re paying for too! Ah, good times…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Nice try.  I’d be happier if they would bring back Cartoon Network (instead of ToonCast Vintage) and TruTV (in English).

    • Anonymous says:

      Cartoon Network was not appropriate for young children and I for one am delighted WestStar has opted for its removal and replaced it with some of the classic, Hanna-Barbera cartoons that many of us grew up on.

      Bravo! to WestStar for this channel change and much Kudos to them for likewise being good corporate citizens by agreeing not to pass on the Tax on Gasoline/Diesel!!

      • Anonymous says:

        have you watched this new channel?  The commercials with the cartoons are very suggestive in the foul language and attitudes.  It might be better but it remains inappropriate.

      • Geek says:

        Sod the kids, Cartoon Network was for the adults.

        I don’t let my children watch TV at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        I totally agree. They could have increased prices like everywhere else and they have not. Thanks Weststar!

    • Tee Wee says:

      Cartoon Network was absolute garbage. We are much better off with this new channel and who couldn’t love watching Garfield in Spanish?

      • Still Cayman says:

        No comment on the cartoon network but, after reading previous posts on the subject of the Spanish channels, why is it that some of you people find it hard to understand we speak ENGLISH on this island??? We don’t want to hear ANY channel in Spanish, and it doesn’t matter how much they want to drop their prices!

        • Anonymous says:

          Coming from someone who knows… the channels in packages that mostly have English programs but may have Spanish commercials or certain Spanish programs are precisely due to international copyright laws.  Because of our island’s close approximation to South America the broadcasters (TruTV, Boomerang, etc.) lump us in regionally with South America.  If WestStar wanted to steal these feeds then they could.  It is precisely because they are following the law that we customers have these channels with mostly English, sometimes Spanish content.  It has no bearing on the content-providing broadcasters whether our country speaks English or Spanish… they think we are South America… that’s what we get.  I guess we should be thankful they add an English track whereever they can or we would have a lot less content. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    I would like Mr. Hansen to guarantee that he will not charge customers for services  they do not render, that will be a good way to save customers money.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If only Westar can improve there custoomer service that will worth alot more than reducing price by 10% and that long recording when u call the phone to make a complain or anything, that will save customers much more. This is not alot to ask