Time Warner is just following other providers, most recently its new fiancé, Comcast, in adding these fees. Comcast began charging a $1.50 broadcast TV fee last fall. They allow cable providers to advertise a certain price point and continue to do so without official rate hikes, but still collect the extra money and spin the rate hike as “educating” their customers about retransmission fees.
Retransmission fees are what cable companies have to pay broadcasters and cable channel operators for the privilege of beaming advertising and occasional entertainment programming at their customers. If you didn’t see this coming after Time Warner folded in its public duel with CBS last year, well, you must not have been reading Consumerist at the time.
Unfortunately (for Time Warner) the response of many consumers to these ridiculous retransmission fee spats is to ditch their cable provider, maybe checking out Aereo if they want to keep watching broadcast networks.
Time Warner Cable says that most customers won’t see this fee: it only applies to customers who don’t currently have a promotional deal. Presumably, this means that future promotional deals will include the fee.
Everyone At The FCC & DOJ Should Be Forced To Watch This “Comcast Doesn’t Give A F#!k” Video