Pay-TV bills march even higher ahead of mega-mergers

|By:, SA News Editor

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and AT&T (NYSE:T) kept a close eye on their acquisition prizes today as they both showed gains during Q2 for one of the most watched metrics in the pay-TV sector.

Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) grew its average revenue per user by 1.7% to $106.98 and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) saw a 4.5% gain to $103.26 in the U.S.

Merger synergies for the mega-deals are based on ever-rising ARPUs while scale brings down content and acquisition costs.

Today's read from the pay-TV sector is that the U.S. consumer hasn't quite hit the breaking point yet on monthly bill charges.

Regulatory watch: The FCC has started its merger review countdown clock by taking comments from consumer groups. Though Comcast maintains in government filings that acquiring TWC will help consumers, the focus on rising monthly pay-TV bills could take the steam out of that argument.