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Comcast's New 'Broadcast TV Fee' Arrives This Week
by Karl Bode 10:50AM Monday Jan 20 2014
As we noted back in November, Comcast has joined a growing number of cable companies who are charging consumers an added "Broadcast TV Fee." The fee is being blamed on broadcaster retransmission hikes, though cable operators are double dipping here by charging you more for service and tacking this new fee on below the line (to falsely keep advertised rates the same). A notice being sent to users states the $1.50 or greater fee should start showing up on user bills Wednesday, January 22, if it hasn't shown up for you already. Reddit users are quite justly confused and annoyed, though remember kids: shiny, $1.2 billion skyscrapers don't just magically build themselves.

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newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

Just another Comcast lie ...

quote:
The fee is being blamed on broadcaster retransmission hikes, though cable operators are double dipping here by charging you more for service and tacking this new fee on below the line (to falsely keep advertised rates the same).
Comcast won't be happy until you just drive by their office and throw money out the window every day.

Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:1

2 recommendations

Re: Just another Comcast lie ...

said by newview:

Comcast won't be happy until you just drive by their office and throw money out the window every day.

They would want a "cash handling fee" for not using their automated billing.
nfotiu

join:2009-01-25

1 recommendation

Maybe this will lead to some good.

I think some goodness will eventually come out of this and the rsn fees to make people aware of how much they are paying for channels they may not even be watching. Perhaps the backlash against these carriage fees will eventually lead to some forced change in the industry. If they are going to charge rsn and broadcast fees, we should have the option of not taking those channels.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath

Re: Maybe this will lead to some good.

That will never happen as regardless of the company that is in the wrong for not signing X deal those customers will leave and go to another provider. If the customers stopped changing providers when this happened and just stayed in one stop/company content owners wouldn't start getting their $$ increases.

MoreIncrease

@comcast.net

1 recommendation

Other fees rose as well this month

DVR service went up $2/mo
Internet svc went up $2/mo

Leaving Soon

@comcast.net

Re: Other fees rose as well this month

I predict their subscriber base is going to go down by one soon.

anonomeX

@comcast.net

Re: Other fees rose as well this month

Verizon FiOS Internet fees just went up $8/mo for the "un-contracted".
davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:2

Fees

Okay, then also include an annual statement of how much each channel costs. I think most subscribers would like to know at least once a year exactly what each and every channel costs on the cable system they subscribe to. I am talking about retail price to the subscriber. It would be interesting to watch the fallout from both content providers and cable subscribers having that information.

AnonMan

@mycingular.net

3 recommendations

Should be illegal!

This should flat out not be legal.

What's the point of advertisement and any sort of protection if our government keeps allowing below the line things so long as they add the word "fee" to the end.

Using raising retransmission hikes as an excuse tells you right off the bat that it's for transmission fees which are built into the base rate already.

We mine as well have no sort of false advertisement protection etc. as consumers.

I find it shocking that this hasn't made it up the court chains yet.

I mean come on, define what "Broadcast TV Fee" is vs. what you had/provided last year? Just a way to recover more money? So you are raising your rates? Well raise the dang rates then don't beat around the bush.

To me when I see a cable price advertised it should include ALL fee's and required equipment and only taxes or optional equipment be allowed to be left out. Taxes because they vary and optional well because it's optional. But with Comcast going all encrypted (in my area already long been done) a box is REQUIRED to have service so your rates should reflect all that is required.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

2 recommendations

How is this legal???

It seems the only thing that will fix this at this point is a massive increase in cord cutting at the same time.

This is really fraud plain and simple.

PapaMidnight

join:2009-01-13
Baltimore, MD

Re: How is this legal???

Those of us with Satellite providers have dealt with this for years. $5 fee added on to the bill to get local channels.
psiu

join:2004-01-20
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

1 recommendation

Don't forget the stealth increase from...

the increase from killing clear-QAM and requiring boxes or cablecards on every outlet. My HDHomeRun is basically useless for now (in an apartment, not very good indoor antenna signal) so guess what CC?

Internet only, and using a Roku with Netflix, Amazon, Crackle, PBS, other assorted channels, AND Aereo!
Millenium

join:2013-10-30
kudos:1

Re: Don't forget the stealth increase from...

Best decision you'll ever make!

For now anyway. With neutrality gone it's only a matter of time before streaming is fee'd out of usability.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath

Re: Don't forget the stealth increase from...

Net Neutrality was never out and enforced anyway. And it has been stated over and over again, the FCC screwed themselves with the Internet nobody else did and now they want it back. Too bad for them. They had the chance and blew it. Just like everything else you lose, time moves on and its time to give up on for NN and try to find another way for them to make some more $$$ and raise rates for the Internet with regulation.

But before they do that- they need to force DBS providers into paying the same taxes and fees that MSOs and IPTV providers pay to offer services.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Don't forget the stealth increase from...

said by TBBroadband:

But before they do that- they need to force DBS providers into paying the same taxes and fees that MSOs and IPTV providers pay to offer services.

Why is that?
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable
That totally sucks that they've killed clear-QAM. Guess they took the latest rulings on being able to encrypt everything and ran with it..

Completely sucks, as 99.999% of people who even know this exists are paying them for services anyway. Hope Cox doesn't follow suit on this anytime soon.
zimm2000

join:2013-12-14
Carrington, ND
Here is the solution to the problem shoot the junk up.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

1 recommendation

Antennas

If you live in an area where antennas are not prohibited, consider getting one. I finally dropped my broadcast basic service and am 100% antenna now. With the demise of analog TV and the discontinuation of broadcasts on the low band VHF channels 2 through 6, antennas are much smaller now.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

Re: Antennas

said by n2jtx:

and the discontinuation of broadcasts on the low band VHF channels 2 through 6

NOT true everywhere; there ARE still digital stations on these freqs, just came from Las Vegas where their local NBC is on (physical) ch 2...
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
Antennas can only be legally prohibited in a registered historic location and it is on the individuals trying to prohibit their use to petition the FCC to claim their case, not renter/owner of the property.

Any other place you are free to put up an antenna within 10' of the roof line or on your own personal space (patio, balcony) provided you do not use permanent attachments that would deface the structure.

WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5

Re: Antennas

said by Skippy25:

Antennas can only be legally prohibited in a registered historic location

And that is where WISP operators are exempted.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Antennas

Well all things considered that may be an alternative ISP service as a last resort for them but considering the cost, limited bandwidth and the caps I dont think a video streaming service will really do them much good and thus they may still have to rely on the good old fashion antenna.

AnonMan

@mycingular.net

Encryption should be more standard

I have no problem with things getting encrypted.

End of the day it "SHOULD" technically save me and you the money. As cable theft goes down making the company more money AND now they don't have to dispatch people for turn down or moves etc saving truck rolls.

The problem is the costs are not passed to us, they view it as making more money which the next year need another way to increase it further, raising rates.

I think for starts the whole leasing a box thing should get a nice law wrapped around it and changed.

Consumers should have the option to own or lease a box and they be universal enough to work with any provider just like most cable modems can.

TV's should also be able to come with built in cable cards that are universal and can work on any provider after it is plugged into said service and downloads any needed files etc.

End of the day this should work like cable modems SHOULD work (I know they don't really neither with some providers) but we should be allowed to own and have more freedom just like cellphones are more freedom able now.

This leasing is just another cash cow for them as you have no choice but to and they continue to raise rates year over year.

Everyone says fine, cut cord and stream, but lets not forget they got that covered too. Caps and now freedom to throttle or block certain content... I doubt any will block ever but don't be shocked when you hit your cap your first few months and now have to pay $20+ in overages or worse you are streaming in SD or laggy buffering content because they throttled it and want you to pay extra for priority on streaming services or they limit them because the other company wont pay them.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Encryption should be more standard

said by AnonMan :

As cable theft goes down making the company more money AND now they don't have to dispatch people for turn down or moves etc saving truck rolls.

So your implication is that people that "steal cable" would pay if they didnt have a choice of stealing?
GTFan

join:2004-12-03
said by AnonMan :

Consumers should have the option to own or lease a box and they be universal enough to work with any provider just like most cable modems can.

Uh, you can with Cablecard. And have been able to for years (Tivo, Windows Media Center tuners etc.). Samsung just released a new STB that uses cards.

Owning a box vs. leasing isn't the issue, the real issue is how Comcast et al will use their defacto HSI monopolies with data caps to force you to pay whether you use their cable service or not.

Thespis
I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV.
Premium
join:2004-08-03
Keller, TX

Re: Encryption should be more standard

But you still make a monthly payment for the Cablecard, right? I know I do...
--
Fast. Cheap. Safe.
Pick two...
slckusr
Premium
join:2003-03-17
Greenville, SC
kudos:1

2 recommendations

How does this make sense.

Dont we pay a cable bill every month to have all these channels in the first place?

Now they are adding a fee to pay for the channels we already pay for?
Millenium

join:2013-10-30
kudos:1

Re: How does this make sense.

Sums it up nicely.

mixdup

join:2003-06-28
Calera, AL

Not optional

What needs to happen is for cable companies to make locals optional. Then, I have no problem with this and the broadcasters can reap what they're sowing

Unbundled
But When ? ?
Premium
join:2010-09-13
Irving, TX

Re: Not optional

said by mixdup:

What needs to happen is for cable companies to make locals optional. Then, I have no problem with this and the broadcasters can reap what they're sowing

I AGREE - FCC - FORCE THE PROVDIERS TO MAKE LOCALS OPTIONAL ! !
--
A La Carte Cable Choice is the ONLY Choice I'm Interested in ! ! ! ROKU 2 XS (3100R) ~ Motorola SB6141 ~ TWC STD 15 Mbps ~ Vizio 29" Desk Monitor
jasondean

join:2009-08-28
Brooklyn, NY

Carefully read the fine print...

In that notice being sent to users, it actually says the following:

"As we introduce this new Fee in your area, initially there will be a reduction in the Limited Basic TV Service rate in the same amount as the Broadcast TV Fee, while other video service tiers will see an increase as provided in the schedule below."

Therefore, while this appears to be an immediately applied additional charge, it should be offset but a reduction in the current rates for the services covered by the new fee.

I'm sure at some point down the road, the fee will go up and everyone pays more while they advertise their "low basic and introductory rates" but for now this should even out.

A good reason why the FCC shouldn't allow broadcast stations to be bundled with other channels.
cdbma

join:2003-01-19
Bolton, MA

deja vu all over again

This behavior is why AT&T was broken up. Here we go again.
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

Re: deja vu all over again

said by cdbma:

This behavior is why AT&T was broken up.

Fortunately or unfortunately AT&T was broken up before big corporate learned how to buy favorable laws through generous campaign contributions. Remember corporate America has the most corrupt government money can buy. One of the reasons that AT&T was broken up was that Litton BTS sued AT&T because of unfair and discriminatory business practices. Since Litton was a prime government contractor they received more consideration than other businesses would have regarding AT&T's abuses. It was said that Litton made more money suing AT&T then they ever could in the business telephone business. Do not expect relief because lawmakers are in corporate America's pockets.

Unbundled
But When ? ?
Premium
join:2010-09-13
Irving, TX
said by cdbma:

This behavior is why AT&T was broken up. Here we go again.

I'm thinking the same thing. Do many other countires let these corps. do this to them ? ? ? ?
--
A La Carte Cable Choice is the ONLY Choice I'm Interested in ! ! ! ROKU 2 XS (3100R) ~ Motorola SB6141 ~ TWC STD 15 Mbps ~ Vizio 29" Desk Monitor
evdotech

join:2012-01-04

Great now I can get out of my 2 yr contract

Great now I can get out of my 2 yr contract
travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

It Just Doesn't Matter...

It doesn't matter what they call the charge, it doesn't matter if they try to claim its related to a provider charge or a government tax. The only this that matter are the bottom line number and whether enough people continue to pay it that it is a net positive for the cable companies.

Want to see the bottom line stop increasing? Drop the subscription.

NOYB
St. John 3.16
Premium
join:2005-12-15
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:1

2 edits

They Were Already Charging For Broacasters

It is already baked in.

Now they are going to add it again as a separate line item and tell customers it's new. As though they weren't paying for it already.

If they want to break it out as a separate line item then the base bill needs to be reduced by the same amount.

Just a way to raise rates without calling it what it is. Bunch of forked tongue snakes in the grass.

--
Be a Good Netizen - Read, Know & Complain About Overly Restrictive Tyrannical ISP ToS & AUP »comcast.net/terms/ »verizon.net/policies/
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kingofdsl

join:2002-12-11
Indianapolis, IN

Re: They Were Already Charging For Broacasters

Bill went up by $4.14 not $1.50

Reynolds

@knology.net

there is an answer

You pay for broadcast transmissions, you also pay for internet access. The answer is a simple one. Drop the broadcast. You can stream what you want to watch. You just have to know how and where to find it. Sports? There are plenty of websites streaming sporting events from all over the world, for free. News? Read an RSS feed from a news web page. Stop making excuses about why you need broadcast. Go totally streaming and save the monthly broadcast bill, fees and corporate BS.

Lizzy

@comcast.net

Re: there is an answer

Actually, streaming-only is not a viable solution for TV. The majority of TV content watched in the U.S. comes from the broadcast networks. So get yourself an antenna, a subscription-free DVR, and have all that content legally over the air - no fees, no data caps, no subscriptions. Then stream your non-broadcast favorite shows and movies through services such as Netflix or Amazon. This way you use a lot less bandwidth and the coming data cap issue is not going to cut you out of access to network broadcasts! Channel Master just released a new DVR for over-the-air broadcasts.

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Free TV

Why not just advertise that the TV service and associated equipment is free, then simply charge everything as a fee on our bills? A bogus $2 fee is not any more ridiculous than a $200 fee, they just hope it is not as noticeable, I suppose.

Why stop there? Let's go full retard and advertise that the cable TV provider will pay the customer $50 each month for service, and then collect it back and much more in fabricated fees that don't appear in the standard pricing schemes.

Camaro
Question everything
Premium
join:2008-04-05
Westfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

We need more deregulation.

It will spur innovation, competition, and of course lower prices for everything.

Can the pro business people in here please explain that to me, you know the granular stuff. I try to listen to both sides of the argument and try to come to a intelligent conclusion but when it comes to this rampant rape of the consumer please enlighten me on how deregulating everything in this country is good for me, my neighbor, family members.

••••
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Good move in some ways

They are going to make more people aware of how badly the broadcasters are ripping them off. Most of the cost issues are from the content providers who just keep demanding MORE! MORE! MORE!, including the broadcasters who have been double dipping for a long time.