Broadcast TV Surcharge
Home Telecom does not profit from the Broadcast TV Surcharge. The Broadcast TV Surcharge is a direct passthrough payment to local Broadcast stations, meaning you pay exactly what we pay for these local channels.
The Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 is a federal law that allows local U.S. broadcast TV stations (network affiliates like CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox) to negotiate with cable and satellite providers like Home Telecom for permission to carry their broadcast signals. Over the last several years, these stations have drastically increased rates to distribute their signals to Home Telecom customers. As a result, these charges are passed through as a "Broadcast TV Surcharge" to give you a better understanding of how money collected from your bill is used.
Negotiating with local broadcasters is a pain point for TV providers nationwide. Oftentimes, we are faced with only 2 options: paying outrageous rates or dropping channels from your lineup. To learn more about the increasing cost to provide broadcast channels, please click here.
We are on your side and agree that changes to this law need to be made. However, until that happens, we understand if video is too costly and you are looking for a change. We’ve partnered with MyBundleTV in order to help make this transition easier for you. Learn more about the best streaming option that would suit your household needs by taking this quiz.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Broadcast Retransmission fee?
Just like cable networks, broadcast TV stations want their cut of your monthly bill. They do this by charging retransmission fees. These fees are made possible by a 1992 federal law that requires cable operators and other providers to obtain permission to carry their stations. Broadcasters set the rate for these fees and the only control we have is to work hard to negotiate the best deal that we can on your behalf.
2. What is the Broadcast TV Surcharge on my statement?
The Broadcast TV Surcharge is a direct pass-through fee reflecting charges from local broadcast or affiliate TV stations known as the “Big 4” networks which include ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. These local affiliates have multi-cast channels which means these are additional channels that fall under their umbrella. A full list of these channels can be reviewed below.
ABC (Channel 8) includes MyNetwork (Channel 13) & MeTV (Channel 112).
NBC (Channel 3) includes The CW (Channel 7) & NewsNation (Channel 2).
CBS (Channel 9) includes Circle (Channel 110), Bounce TV (Channel 113), & Grit (Channel 116).
FOX (Channel 12) includes Comet (Channel 111) & Justice (Channel 115).
3. Why can broadcast TV stations charge for carriage of their signals?
Broadcast TV stations distribute their signals over the air using free spectrum granted by the federal government. Taxpayers are essentially subsidizing the distribution of broadcast or "network-affiliated" TV signals. These same broadcast stations are then allowed by the government to charge for their signals, and if we don't agree to pay, broadcasters can force us to drop their channels, impacting our customers. We're in favor of changes to this law, and if those changes are successful, we'll remove the additional charges.
4. Why do you treat local broadcast TV stations differently than you do cable networks such as ESPN, MTV, or HBO?
Federal law treats local broadcast TV stations like CBS, NBS, ABC, and Fox differently. Unlike cable networks, local broadcast TV stations distribute their signals over the air using free spectrum as allowed by the federal government. These same broadcast TV stations are then allowed by the government to charge for their signals. Negotiating with local broadcasters is a pain point for TV providers nationwide. Whereas cable networks like ESPN, MTV, or HBO do not distribute their signals over the air using free spectrum as allowed by the federal government. As they do not receive free spectrum, these networks are typically expected to charge a fee for the programming they distribute to customers. Oftentimes we are faced with paying outrageous rates or dropping the channels from your lineup. All Live TV providers have to pay this fee somewhere, even our national competitors.