Starting in January, Time Warner Cable will join a growing list of cable and satellite providers which are charging for sports. For instance, DirecTV has a regional sports channel fee that can go as high as $2.14 a month depending on where a subscriber lives. Time Waline rner Cable’s charge will increase subscribers’ bills by $2.75 a month. That’s in addition to a broadcast TV fee that will jump from $2.25 to $2.75 a month.
While subscriber fees from networks aren’t necessarily passed down to the consumer, cable and satellite companies find ways to make up for the increased costs. If you look at the line items on your bill, you’ll find various charges that don’t seem to make sense, but they’re creative ways by the pay TV companies to get their money back. They range from equipment rental fees to modem lease surcharges.
The sports and broadcast TV surcharges are other ways for the providers to squeeze money from customers. And it’s one of the reasons why viewers are cutting the cord and going to Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and other set-top services.
For its part, Time Warner Cable says cable sports channels costs have increased 91% since 2008. However, some point to Time Warner’s SportsNet LA and Time Warner Cable SportsNet channels as to why the costs have gone up.
As some cable and satellite providers sign up for programming other than sports, we’ll see how they react to these sports programming fees. Some may balk, others may just sit and take it. We’ll see how this goes.
In the meantime, the cable bills go up and they won’t be going down anytime soon. We’ll see how far this goes and if customers decide to revolt through the courts.