Time Warner Cable Will “Educate” Us All By Charging $2.25 Broadcast Fee

Come sit in a circle, cable customers! Time Warner Cable has something that they want to teach us all. Will they do this bit of customer education by including a shiny brochure in our cable bills, or airing ad spots for subscribers only during our favorite shows? No, no, they have other ways. They’re going to teach us all about how pricey retransmission fees are by imposing extra fees on us.

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.

Time Warner Cable Raises Rates (Again), Adds ‘Broadcast TV’ Fee [DSLReports]

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  1. theoriginalcatastrophegirl says:

    if you have TWC and don’t have a promotional deal, why haven’t you called them to get one yet? i recently found out that calling to downgrade service is plenty effective at getting a retention agent on the line to obtain the promotional deal. my promotion expired, i didn’t want to pay the full price, and i don’t have roommates anymore so i didn’t need as much bandwidth as i was paying for. i still downgraded my service, and the retention agent still gave me a 1 year promotional price even on the slower service. (internet only)
    call, be pleasant, tell them the price isn’t currently worth it to you and see what they offer.

  2. Airwave says:

    There needs to be a switch. So that when you don’t want to watch the crap on cable, you can watch broadcast channels OTA (and not be charged a fee for it!)!

    *Over the air