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Citizens Utility Board Release Guide To Help Pay-TV Customers Save Money

CHICAGO (CBS) -- For the first time in its 32-year history, the Citizens Utility Board is offering consumers help with finding lower prices on something other than electricity and natural gas services.

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) released Tuesday its first-ever guide to help TV viewers cut costs.

For the last 32 years, the Citizens Utility Board has tackled issues dealing with electricity and natural gas rates, but CUB spokesman Jim Chilsen said the organization has also heard from consumers who were upset about their TV bills. WBBM's Bernie Tafoya reports.

That's why CUB has now come out with its 20-page guide to picking the best TV options. You can get the, CUB's Guide to Cutting Your TV Costs, emailed to you for free through The guide includes tips on how consumers can reduce TV bills and details the pros and cons of various choices in the market.

"Our polling showed that 75 percent of customers thought their cable or satellite TV bills were just too high," Chilsen said.

Another survey, he said, found that 76.6 percent of customers who have left their cable or satellite TV company did so because of high bills. Earlier polls indicate people pay, on average, for 190 channels but usually watch 17 of them.

Chilsen said one of the first things you can do to lower your cable or satellite bill is to call the provider to negotiate. He warns, though, of being "upsold". You call to negotiate down your TV costs but wind up buying a more expensive package.

"A bargain is only a bargain if it's for something you want," Chilsen said.

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