Network and programmer fees have been a hot news topic lately with stories of ongoing station negotiations and the announcements of cable providers being forced to raise rates to cover them. Great Plains Communications would like to shed some light on the topic of network/programmer fees to help you understand the way these rising fees affect your cable television service.
Frequently asked questions:
What are Network/Programmer fees?
A significant portion of your Local TV bill is passed on to Cable Network and Broadcast station owners (Networks, or Programmers). Cable Television providers are under contract with programmers and charged a fee per channel, per month, per customer for the right to provide that station or Network to their customers.
- These fees have increased dramatically at 3½ times the rate of inflation over the last 15 years.
- These Fees apply to stations on the cable lineup and increase every year.
If I don’t even watch a lot of the channels on my television, why do I still have to be responsible for all of these fees on my bill when there are other subscribers who watch more channels than I do?
All Satellite and Cable providers (TV providers) pay each Network owner (Programmer) a fee for every household that receives a particular Network – regardless of whether anyone in the household actually watches it. This is the industry standard as it exists today.
Many customers would prefer to pay for only the most popular Networks and a select group of quality, special-interest ones that appeal to them. This is something that providers would like to offer, but most Networks will not allow it. Unfortunately, the programmers often have the upper hand in how their networks are packaged.