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Cable And Satellite Providers Required To Disclose “All In” Pricing Under Newly Passed FCC Rules

The FCC passed new rules that will require cable and satellite providers to clearly disclose the “all in” price of subscriptions in promotional materials.

“The advertised price for a service should be the price you pay when your bill arrives,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. “It shouldn’t include a bunch of unexpected junk fees that are separate from the top-line price you were told when you signed up.”

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Rosenworcel cited fees like “broadcast subscription” and “regional sports assessments.” “It is not just annoying,” she said. “It makes it hard for consumers to compare service in a market that is evolving and has so many new ways to watch.”

The new rules passed 3-2. Commissioners Brendan Carr and Nathan Simington voted against it.

Rosenworcel has also proposed other measures aimed at “junk fees,” while the White House has focused on the elimination or limitation of things like surcharges and late fees in areas like concert ticketing, airline reservations and banking.

The FCC chair also has proposed eliminating early termination fees charged by cable and satellite providers, as well as requirements to offer consumers prorated credits or rebates after the cancellation of service.

NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, which represents major cable providers, called the FCC’s action “misguided.”

“The FCC’s micromanagement of advertising in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace will force operators to either clutter their ads with confusing disclosures or leave pricing information out entirely. For consumers, it’s a lose-lose proposition,” the trade association said in a statement.

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