Unlike cable TV networks, broadcast TV stations distribute their signals over the air, using free spectrum granted to them by the federal government. In effect, taxpayers subsidize the distribution of broadcast TV signals. These same broadcast TV stations are then allowed by the government to charge for their signals — and if we don’t agree to pay, broadcasters can force us to drop their channels.
It’s all part of a process known as “retransmission consent.”
Unfortunately, a number of broadcasters have become very aggressive, pressing for increasingly larger payments. While this situation has resulted in the surcharge on customer bills, we pledge not to profit from that surcharge. We will make sure we do not collect more from the surcharge than we pay to the owners of broadcast TV stations.