The Broadcast TV Surcharge is a pass-through fee reflecting charges assessed to Giant Communications by the owners of local broadcast or local "network-affiliated" TV stations. While broadcast stations distribute their signals over the air using free spectrum granted to them by the federal government, they charge us significant amounts to carry their TV signals. These signals were historically made available to us at no cost or low cost. However, the prices now demanded by broadcast stations have necessitated that we pass these costs on to customers in the form of a monthly fee.
Didn't the rate just go up last year?
As a direct result of local broadcast, or "network-affiliated," TV stations increasing the rates to Giant Communications to distribute their signals to our customers, our Broadcast TV Surcharge will be increasing by over 50% in 2019. This follows an increase of over 30% in 2018. Typically these contracts run for three or four years, with the largest increase being seen in the first year. We do not anticipate another large increase for a couple more years.
Why is the charge on my bill different than my other programming?
Because they are treated differently under Federal law, we are able to put the local broadcast charges on your bill as a pass-through fee. All of this fee goes directly to local broadcast stations.
Are all local broadcast stations charging?
Broadcast stations have the option of requiring us to carry their stations for no monthly fee, or opting to negotiate a charge for the right to carry their station. Historically, these fees were no cost or low cost to us. Over time, the “Big 4” national broadcast Networks (NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX) increasingly are usurping their local affiliates’ control over re-transmission consent decisions, leading to increased charges. They are increasingly dictating the terms under which such consent can be granted and demanding a cut of the stations’ re-transmission consent fees. Giant Communications cannot provide information by individual station.
For additional information on programming fees, please visit www.tvonmyside.com.