Why Are Cable Costs Climbing?
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 video, cable and satellite providers, must pass a portion of these costs to our members.
As your local Cooperative, we here at HTC — your neighbors and fellow community members — will continue to fight these outdated retransmission rules every day on your behalf.
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.
While we work hard to keep prices low, rate increases are 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.
We place notices in your billing statement regarding any rate increases.
At HTC, we offer a variety of bundle packages that could save you money.
Please contact a Member Services Associate at 843-369-8984 and allow us to assist you in finding the best package to meet your needs.
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.
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.
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