The Communications Act requires that a television station give its consent to a cable company or other video provider to carry its broadcast signal. This process is called "Retransmission Consent." Television stations and video providers negotiate for this "retransmission consent," usually on a fee per-subscriber basis. If the parties do not reach an agreement, then the video provider must stop offering the stations to its subscribers.
Local broadcast stations are now demanding much higher fees for the right to retransmit their signals. Since 2011, these fees on a national basis have nearly quadrupled. As a result, the cost increases for broadcast stations have been substantial and have impacted significantly the prices customers pay for video services in every region of the country, regardless of whether the customer receives video service from cable, telephone or satellite companies.
Broadcast TV Fee
Starting July 1, 2014, or with your next billing statement thereafter, all billing statements for MetroCast customers who subscribe to video services (whether alone or as part of a bundle of services) will include a Broadcast TV Fee of $1.50 to defray the rising cost of retransmission consent fees that your local broadcasters have chosen to charge us. If you are receiving video services on a promotional or contract basis as of June 1, 2014, the Broadcast TV Fee will be applied to your bill at the end of the applicable period at the then-current rate.
Loss of Stations
As a further consequence of Retransmission Consent, MetroCast may no longer be able to carry certain "out-of-market" broadcast stations. However, as these stations typically carry the same network programming already carried on local, "in-market" broadcast stations, MetroCast customers will continue to receive all major network programming. Updates will be posted to this site (see below) as negotiations continue with local broadcast stations: