IowaCowboyWant to go back to IowaPremiumReviews:
In Western Massachusetts (at least in Comcast areas), the basic tier averages about $8 per month (including taxes and fees) for bare-bones broadcast basic which includes the local broadcast channels, any required public access/educational/government access channels, and about 2 or 3 shopping channels like HSN and QVC (which I suspect the cable company actually makes money from carrying on their system) and also EWTN (free channel provided by the Roman Catholic church).
I think the rates for broadcast basic are regulated by the franchising authority (here in Mass, it is the state DPU), but the rates for anything above broadcast basic (such as expanded basic, digital cable, high speed internet, cable phone, etc) are unregulated.
Basic cable is handy, especially if the broadcast OTA signals are unusable (due to local interference) or you live too far away from the TV transmitters.
I have many more channels than just basic. I subscribe the the Xfinity Triple Play preferred plus (than includes HBO, Starz, Digital Preferred, blast (50/10) internet and home phone) and I got a good price on it (about $160 per month for the whole package including equipment).
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).