ACA and ATVA are correct: a ransom is being demanded in the pay-tv market, but it’s not coming from broadcasters. It’s the King’s Ransom demanded by pay-TV companies every time a customer opens a monthly bill. Start with $20 set top box fees, then add the oft-hidden fees for DVRs, second remotes, and other equipment. Include the double-digit monthly Regional Sports Network fees – for programs that many viewers never watch. Don’t forget the unannounced price increases at double the rate of inflation and harassing telemarketing calls either.
And do pay-TV companies offer rebates to customers constantly subjected to blackouts caused by passing rainstorms? Not a chance.
ACA and ATVA profess a desire to “look out for consumers.” Yet it is deadly silent about the hundreds of dollars its members charge in “early termination fees” when a customer switches pay-TV providers. Here’s an idea you won’t ever hear from ACA and ATVA for a new campaign – one that addresses pay TV’s infamously poor customer service.
There is one thing TVFreedom.org and pay-TV providers can agree on: Broadcasters provide viewers with their “favorite news, weather reports, and national sporting and entertainment events.” That’s due in part because of retransmission consent, a fair and free market negotiation based on the simple premise that local TV stations deserve compensation for the most valued programming on television.