August 8, 2008, Newsletter Issue #76: Who Regulates Cable TV Rates?

Tip of the Week

Have you ever wondered where your cable television provider has come up with the rates they charge consumers for their cable service?

Basically your cable provider is monitored by a local franchising authority. The local franchising authority (LFA) can only regulate how much your cable company charges you for local stations and for any educational and government stations. This commonly referred to as a basic tier service.

The LFA, however, does not regulate how much your cable company charges you when it comes to premium channels, such as HBO or for any pay-per-view channels. Your cable company can charge you any amount for those types of channels. But, your cable company should not tell you that in order to purchase premium channels or pay-for channels you will need to buy a more expensive cable television package. Those channels should not require a more expensive package, instead they should be offered at an additional fee for any cable package available. There is no rule though that says cable companies must actually offer these premium channels on an individual basis.

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