Why are my rates going up?
At HTC, we’re committed to providing our members with quality TV programming at a competitive price and we make every effort to minimize costs.
In our contract negotiations with cable networks we work hard to ensure you don’t suffer unfair price increase as a result of unreasonable demands.
Over the past few years, however, cable networks have increased their rates. Additionally, HTC completed Retransmission Consent negotiations with local broadcast stations that had significant fee increases.
Despite out best efforts to control these dramatically increasing programming costs, HTC, like other cable and satellite providers, must pass a portion of these costs to our members.
What is retransmission consent?
Retransmission Consent refers to a provision of the 1992 United States Cable Television Protection and Competition Act that requires cable operators to obtain permission from broadcast stations to carry their programming.
In exchange, broadcast stations may propose that the cable operator pay cash to carry their station. If the cable operator refuses to pay the rates proposed by the station, they may withhold permission for the cable operator to carry their programming.
Unlike cable TV networks, broadcast TV stations distribute their signals over the air, using free spectrum granted to them by the federal government. In effect, taxpayers subsidize the distribution of broadcast TV signals.
These same broadcast TV stations are then allowed by the government to charge cable and satellite operators for their signals. If HTC doesn’t agree to pay, broadcasters can force us to remove their channels.
This is the process known as Retransmission Consent Negotiations.
Over the past few years, the owners of broadcast stations have consolidated. This consolidation has provided these ownership groups with even more power to demand higher fees from cable and satellite operators.
I am currently on an introductory promotion, will my rate change?
If you have recently signed up and are part of our new Member Connections bundle receiving a promotional rate, your rate for the standard service will remain the same through your promotional period.
At the end of your promotion period, rates will go to the then current rates. Additional services not part of the promotional rate will be subject to any increases.
If HTC is trying to control cost, why does my bill go up each year?
While we work hard to keep prices low, this year’s rate increase is necessary because of the rapidly escalating charges levied by the owners of your local broadcast stations and the cable TV networks.
As your TV provider, we absorb a portion of these increases, but also pass along a portion.
Why wasn’t I notified about a rate increase?
We placed notices in your March billing statement regarding the adjustment.
Is there anything I can do to lower my bill?
At HTC, we offer a variety of bundle packages that could save you money.
Please contact a Customer Relations Associate at 843-369-8984 and allow us to assist you in finding the best package to meet your needs.
Can I drop the channels that I don’t want to lower my bill?
Almost all of our agreements we have with programmers contain requirements on what package we have to carry their channel(s).
Most programmers want to be in the package with the most subscribers. Also, most programmers own multiple channels and in negotiations they tie channels together.
We aren’t allowed to only take a few channels, but most of the times have to carry all of the channels they own. Not only does this mean increased cost, but it doesn’t allow the ability for you to pick the channels you want.
If I switch to satellite or a different provider, can I avoid the increase?
No. All cable providers and satellite TV providers must negotiate retransmission consent fees with corporate broadcasters.
Any of these negotiations could lead to TV stations going off the air. Therefore, switching providers will not protect you from rate increases.
Can I learn more?
As your local Cooperative, we here at HTC — your neighbors and fellow community members — will continue to fight these outdated retransmission rules every day on your behalf.
You can learn more by visiting keeptheconnections.com.
If you have questions regarding the HTC Digital Cable bill, visit our Digital Cable FAQs or call 843-369-8984.