Cable’s FCC fees move closer to those of satellite

The FCC has proposed a fee rate of 77 cents per subscriber for cable and IPTV operators. (FCC)

The FCC is continuing its effort to establish parity between the fees it charges cable and satellite operators.

Proposing a fiscal 2018 budget in which it plans to collect more than $322 million from broadcasters, cable, IPTV and satellite operators, the commission has proposed a fee rate of 77 cents per subscriber for cable and IPTV operators, and a 48-cent-per-subscriber fee for DBS companies.

The per-sub fee for cable and IPTV operators in 2017 was 96 cents vs. 38 cents for satellite TV companies. 

Sponsored by Dell Technologies

Whitepaper: How to Elevate Your Content Delivery Workflows With Dell EMC PowerScale

Learn how Dell EMC PowerScale helps meet surging viewer demand while reducing costs with a single centralized platform for the ingest, processing, and delivery of the content your viewers love.

Broadcasting & Cable was the first to report on the FCC’s newly proposed fee structure. 

RELATED: FCC more than doubles fees it charges DirecTV and Dish

The fee change is part of a multiyear effort by the FCC to establish parity between cable and satellite operator fee rates.

“When we adopted this regulatory fee subcategory for DBS, we observed that numerous regulatory developments had increased the Media Bureau [full time employee] activity involving regulation and oversight of multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), including DBS providers,” the FCC said in a 2016 statement announcing the plan. 

In its proposal, the commission is also seeking comment on changing in 2019 the way it calculates fees for broadcast stations. The FCC is considering a movement away from measuring fees by designated marketing area (DMA) to the population covered by a station’s reach. 

Suggested Articles

WarnerMedia scored a key HBO Max distribution deal with Comcast just as it launched in May. Nearly six months later, there still isn’t an app.

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s recently launched streaming video service, is rolling out 20% discounts on annual Premium subscriptions for Black Friday.

How can we defend ourselves? Mostly, it’s a matter of common sense.