TV Programming: Information Regarding Rising Costs

We know seeing an increase on your monthly bill is never a welcome sight. Due to increasing TV programming costs that altafiber pays on a per subscriber basis for each channel in our lineup, a portion of these increases must be passed on to TV subscribers.

Programming Costs

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.

These Network fees have increased dramatically at 3½ times the rate of inflation over the last 15 years.

Five media companies control 90% of the Networks, and while we work hard to keep these costs under control, they continue to use their power to demand more money.

Programmers are securing long-term contracts with significant guaranteed Network fee increases, regardless of how many people watch.

Retransmission Fees Continue to Rise

Local TV stations are demanding increasingly higher fees to be included on TV Provider’s line-ups, even though they are still available free over-the-air. National broadcast networks are adding to the burden by demanding a cut of local stations’ fees. If their demands are not met, they pull their signals from their viewers and ask you to complain to your TV Provider, leaving you without your favorite programming until an agreement is reached. And if those fee demands are met, it results in higher prices for you.

retransmission fee graph

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If you are trying to control costs, why does my bill seem to go up every year?

A: While we pledge to hold prices as low as possible, adjustments are necessary because of the rising cost of Network fees and other factors. As your Local TV provider, we absorb a portion of those increases and pass along a portion to our customers.

Q: Why do I have to pay for networks I never watch?

A: Just five multi-billion-dollar corporations own or control about 90% of existing TV Networks – both those you want, as well as many of those you don’t. And they won’t let you have the most-popular Networks unless you get the less-popular ones, too. In turn, if we ask for a price for just the most-popular Networks, a common response from Network owners is to raise their price, effectively eliminating this option from consideration.


Q: I keep hearing how sports networks are a big portion of my total monthly bill. How can just a few networks make such an impact?

A: It’s because many leagues, conferences, teams and college sports have their own Networks – each with its own high fee, yet offering little or no additional games. And they insist that it be carried in packages that reach most of our customers, instead of sports packages – making even non-fans pay. 

Q: Isn't broadcaster programming free? 

A: Yes and No. While broadcasters offer their signals for free over the air, cable operators can’t offer these signals to our cable customers without their permission. Companies like us, altafiber, need to pay fees to the broadcasters to get the permissions needed to air those channels. Most customers don’t realize they are paying fees for what most consider “free TV”, such as national network shows.

We will continue to negotiate on your behalf against unreasonably high price increases from programmers, as well as look for innovative ways to keep the great TV and Internet service you've come to expect from altafiber at an affordable price.

Call or chat for any additional questions