Post Reply Comcast subscribers are paying $1.9 billion a year for over-the-air channels they can get for free
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Posted 7/13/17 , edited 7/14/17
In yet another example of why people should have moved on from cable a while ago... and maybe Comcast altogether:


http://www.billgeeks.com/comcast-broadcast-tv-fee/
Recent estimates show that Comcast currently has about 22,508,000 customers subscribed to its cable TV service. As of January 1, 2017, Comcast raised its “Broadcast TV Fee” from $5 a month to $7 a month. And as you can see below, local broadcast channels are included in every TV package Comcast offers.

With these numbers in hand, it’s simple math. 22,508,000 subscribers paying $7 a month for broadcast channels comes out to around $157.6 million in monthly revenue for Comcast. Over the course of a year, Comcast gets about $1.9 billion from its Broadcast TV Fee. Again, these are channels you can get for free over the air with an antenna.


An interesting account on reddit that seems to back up some of Comcast's worst shake-down practices:


https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/6n21a3/comcast_subscribers_are_paying_up_to_19_billion_a/dk6ah2c/
noisyturtle 10 hours ago
This same exact thing happened to me recently. I never wanted cable but the package was actually cheaper for 6 months than internet alone, so I figured it would be nice to watch some tv again. When the box was all set up I was confused because I was only getting the free access channels I already got previously. After calling Comcast asking why I wasn't getting Comedy Central and Cartoon Network(I'm an adult, leave me alone) they explained that the basic cable package doesn't actually include any cable channels. Then the next month they charged me a $10 service fee for calling and asking them that question. What the actual fuck Comcast.



Add this to a long list of reasons why you should value net neutrality, and why you would never want the free internet to follow the old cable model under companies like Comcast and the rest.

I cut the cord a long time ago, and I'm all about streaming now (hence why I have a CR account ). And I've never been happier no longer paying that $200+ a month bill for cable and internet.
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28 / M
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Posted 7/13/17 , edited 7/14/17
Highway robbery.
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18 / M / Perth, Scotland
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Posted 7/13/17 , edited 7/14/17
Us people in the UK feel your pain. We have to pay hundreds of pounds per year just to watch a 22 people kick a ball around, or watch Game of Thrones on Sky...
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30 / M / Azeroth
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Posted 7/13/17 , edited 7/14/17
Not to rain on ur parade or anything, but whomever Fake News noob who wrote this piece doesn't know WTF they are talking about.

The FCC issues over air transmission licenses for content. Stations buy these at auction. Because the channels of cable bypass this, the local stations charged a FCC approved fee for "retransmission". Else, people who would be watching on Cable would be getting stuff for free.

No different then being charged for cable stations, like AMC, History, Discovery, the like. The difference being, the cost of the FCC licenses, in order to provide the service to everyone, is shared by FCC mandate to all carriers.

Otherwise, anyone could run a IPTV service and rebroadcast content, the stations left with revenue for airwaves, that no one uses anymore.


Still don't get it? When you watch over air broadcast, and via cable, the commercials are different. There are "station" commercials that generally nationwide, and there are local block commercials. The carrier derives revenue from both, but have the full control over the local. For instance, you may see the "Comcast Spotlight" block on Comcast; on over air, likely non-profit PSA messages. To make up for this differential which would be lost if everyone used cable, the stations charge Comcast a retransmission fee. Thus, they derive revenue from something that otherwise would be lost.

Ratings for Over Air vs Cable matter, just like Netflix vs Amazon. If no one watches over air broadcast, their adrate is far lower. Why you get cheaper PSA things (usually charity) on over air block. So, Comcast is charged a fee.

The difference here is, Comcast declares the cost of this service upfront as line item, others may roll into a package. Some like Satellite canceled local station rebroadcast in order to bring down their package deal. No different thne a "Regional Spirts Fee", which is the same in regards to MLB/NFL and likewise rights. Either Comcast could have 1 price that factors these in, or they can break it down for transparency.

And because, lots of you Millennials don't even watch linear TV anymore, the revenue to local stations are falling off a cliff. Thus, higher fees . No local stations=no local news. So think for a bit b4 bitching, please...



In short, the fees are government mandates. Stop bitching about Comcast for once; yes, they have a epic ton of problems and are overpriced, but this charge against is false, and just noob.
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21 / M / Chicago, IL, USA
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Posted 7/13/17
It's almost the 20th 2nd, do we even need cable anymore?
Ejanss 
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Posted 7/13/17 , edited 7/13/17

TheGrandAlliance wrote:
No local stations=no local news.


And no local news = No local programming.
Because local stations have made almost all local non-news programming (talk shows, local sports, childrens, cooking, movie hosts) extinct, focused only on their inter-competitive news divisions, and shift all other blocks of daytime programming to network and syndication.
Especially now that their affiliate network now provides them with all-night news instead of late-night local programming.

There's nothing that's going to "save" television if we all stop watching cable or broadcast. There's no ONE villain that killed it, but there are a lot of guilty parties at fault.


RalphNator wrote:

It's almost the 20th 2nd, do we even need cable anymore?


We do if we live in the mountain valleys where we can't GET the local over-the-air HD network affiliate stations from the big city 20 miles away...
And must now pay Comcast $99/mo+ to get the "free" broadcast channels in the manner in which they were broadcast.
Because Comcast lives in 2008, and still considers HD network broadcast channels special "Digital programming", which must be part of their complete Digital Package, including tier networks, premium channels and movies-on-demand. Rather than the ability to simply plug the cable straight into the flatscreen set's built-in QAM tuner, and watch the local over-the-air HD channels on the TV channels, without the newly added scrambler box to regulate it. (In SD, if you only have Basic service.)

And that's if you're not also a tech-noob who was persuaded he won't be able to get Wi-Fi in his home unless he uses the router that Comcast generously "provided" him with for an extra $9/mo.
(Fortunately, I discovered Comcast's support area has a page that lists compatible modems and wi-fi routers you can buy over the counter at Staples and Best Buy, and avoid...those charges, at least.)

If cable is dead within our lifetime, it won't be JUST Netflix or the reality shows that killed it.
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Hoosierville
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Posted 7/13/17
I haven't had TV since 2007. Internet only and I got away from comcast recently. $60/month for good service but worth it.
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31 / M / Glendale, AZ
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Posted 7/13/17
Disclaimer: Comcast owns NBC Universal and NBCU Japan is the publisher of several anime on CR.
Ejanss 
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Posted 7/13/17

kadmos1 wrote:

Disclaimer: Comcast owns NBC Universal and NBCU Japan is the publisher of several anime on CR.


And we're streaming CR to get away from cable...There, brought it full circle.
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27 / M / Houma
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Posted 7/14/17
It's kind of hard to be a cord-cutter when your only ISP options severely punish you for not having the cable TV service they are protecting from competition. Often the high bandwidth options (and options without data caps) are locked behind the cable TV paywall in addition to the internet-only packages being stupidly overpriced so that it is comparable with the cable packages anyway.

This kind of bullshit is why I not only advocate for net-neutrality but also municipal broadband and decoupling service from infrastructure.
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M / Behind you!
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Posted 7/14/17
meh, easier to say...

"All hail our ISP and Station Broadcasting Overlords!"

Can't live without them, Can't stop bitching about them.
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