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Broadcast Retransmission Fee FAQs

Last Updated: December 10, 2018

 

What are Broadcast Retransmission Fees?

Fees corporate broadcast stations (e.g. ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox) charge WTC to retransmit or show their local content. Although these fees are listed on your WTC bill, 100% of the money collected goes directly to the broadcasting companies.

 

Why do Broadcast Retransmission Fees keep going up?

Broadcast companies set the rate for their retransmission fees. Although there is a negotiation process, WTC really has no control over the amount of the fee.  If we do not agree to the rates the fees will either increase further, or we will be threatened with a station blackout.

 

Why do WTC’s costs keep going up?

WTC works very hard to keep customer’s bill as low as possible, however, due to increasing broadcast retransmission and network fees it makes this extremely difficult. WTC absorbs as much of these costs as feasible, but unfortunately a share of these fees get passed to our customers.

 

Isn’t programming from broadcasters free?

Broadcast companies offer their signals for free over the air, however WTC can’t offer these signals to our customers without their permission. We must pay fees to the broadcasters to get that permission. Most customers don’t realize they are paying fees for what most consider “free TV” such as national network shows like The Big Bang Theory, The Blacklist, 60 Minutes, The Voice and sporting events.

 

Why doesn’t WTC just pay the broadcasters what they want?

WTC works on behalf of our customers to ensure access to the TV stations they want. Since consumers have many provider choices, WTC strives to offer our customers the best service at the lowest possible cost. However, when large corporate broadcasters demand higher fees, WTC is forced to pass along some of those costs to their customers. We fight on behalf of our customers to try to negotiate the best deal possible, but these broadcasters have dominant negotiating power to increase fees.

 

Why not just switch to a different provider?

All cable providers, regardless of their size, must negotiate broadcast retransmission fees with corporate broadcasters. Any of these negotiations could lead to significant price increases or station blackouts.  DISH Network and DirecTV subscribers have also experienced rises in the price they pay or the loss of a channel. Therefore, switching providers will not protect you from price increases or station blackouts.


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