Charter Communication’s customers should expect a rise in the broadcast fee as of March 1. The fee which currently $9.95 will increase by $2.04 and will now be $11.99. This is the second increase in just four months.
The telecommunications giant says the broadcast fee is charged to its cable TV customers to make up for the cost of paying broadcasters for the right to re-transmit their signals over cable systems. The fee is however never mentioned in its advertised rates and is instead revealed in the fine print which usually comes as a big shock to customers. The increases to the fee also apply to customers who agreed to deals that seemingly lock in a specific monthly rate during a set period. Charter uses the broadcast TV fee to advertise lower rates than it actually charges and to raise prices on customers even before their promotional rates expire.
In November last year Charter raised the broadcast TV fee from $8.85 to $9.95 as part of a larger price increase for both cable TV and broadband services.
The new fee increase was confirmed by Charter to Ars yesterday.
“It is accurate that the Broadcast TV Surcharge will increase to $11.99, effective March 1, across Spectrum markets,” a Charter spokesperson told Ars. “The charge continues to reflect the rapidly rising cost of local broadcast channels.”