Small Kentucky Cable Company to Shut Off Video
By Ted Hearn, Editor of Policyband
Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2023 – Another small cable TV company is shutting down video service.
Kentucky-based DUO Broadband is turning off its two video services by the end of 2024, blaming escalating programming costs that it is does not want to pass along to customers.
“Due to the extreme costs associated with Cable TV systems, maintenance, and facilities, DUO Broadband will no longer offer traditional cable television. Extreme increases in programming rates would have required significant, continued price increases that would be a burden for our customers.” DUO Broadband said in a statement posted to its website.
The company has a streaming product that is shutting down as well.
“Because of extreme price increases from programmers, we will phase out our streaming TV service rather than pass along large price increases to our customers. The good news is that you have excellent alternatives for your continued TV service. The MyBundle Streaming marketplace is a great resource to find your best options,” the company said.
DUO Broadband's video sunset will be conducted in two stages, with streaming TV service going dark on Jan. 4, 2024 and traditional cable TV doing the same on Dec. 31, 2024 - an approach designed to provide older cable TV customers sufficient time to find other video options, a company source said.
“TV delivery is changing and DUO broadband has to change as well,” the company said.
Because HBO and Showtime have different contract renewal deadlines from regular cable channels, DUO Broadband expects those premium channels to go dark on separate schedules.
News about DUO Broadband comes after Bailey Cable TV, serving several small communities in Louisiana and Mississippi, abruptly shut down cable and broadband service on Nov. 30 without providing advance notice to local officials.
DUO Broadband also offers fiber broadband, a service that is not going away, a company source said.
In June, DOU Broadband was awarded a $24 million broadband deployment grant under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Program. The same month the company obtained a $3.3 million state grant to expand access to high-speed Internet to 550 currently unserved households and businesses located in Russell and Wayne counties.
DUO Broadband got its start as a rural telephone cooperative in 1954 in Cumberland County in south central Kentucky. By 1959, the company had 1,200 customers. “Most of those customers were served on 8-party lines,” according to the company’s history.