Well, it turns out you’re not alone. Cable companies are passing more and more fees along to consumers, and this is one of them.
In today’s post, I’m going to explain exactly what this fee is, and what you can do about it.
What is Comcast’s Regional Sports fee?
This is a fee passed on to consumers to subsidize the cost of carrying sporting events on Regional Sports Networks (RSNs). Cable TV companies spend billions to win the rights to show various local sports, and they pass that cost on to consumers. These channels can be expensive, as seen in the high cost of the contract.
As an example, when you see Time Warner Cable agree to pay $7-8 Billion to the LA Dodgers over the next few decades to air all of their games….you bet your ass those fee pass through to consumers. Same goes for all of the contracts Comcast negotiates with local teams in the US.
Those costs are passed through to those in the viewing area. These fees are subject to increase and include professional and collegiate level sports contracts.
What if I don’t watch sports? Will Comcast remove /waive this fee for me?
This would be very unlikely. This fee blankets all of the folks in the viewing area, and from what I can tell they are not waiving this based on your viewing preferences.
However, you can ask to have a package that does not include any sports programming, and this may or may not remove the fee. Comcast is known to be difficult, but if you have a TV package the does not include access to those games, I would expect they remove that fee.
Or, you can cancel cable tv and keep internet only. In this case, yes, they would remove those fees.
Is this fee the same as Comcast broadcast tv fee? Or is this an additional fee?
Yes, you guessed it – it’s an additional fee. As I’m sure you know, Comcast has many fees. See the official Comcast link to view how they describe their fees.
Comcast charges both a regional sports fee (to subsidize the expensive of their contracts), AND separately they charge a broadcast TV fee. This is a pass-through fee to consumers to cover their costs to local broadcast stations to broadcast their programming over their networks. Normally these fees are determined by zip code and have seemed to increase more steadily over time.
Comcast and other cable companies like DIRECTV, Time Warner Cable, Spectrum have come under heavy fire for not disclosing these fees during your initial sign-up phase. Instead, they advised since these costs can change from time to time, they simply just lump these in at the end as “taxes, fees, and surcharges.”
Comcast Regional Sports Fee Lawsuit
That’s right, it is so bad for some that lawsuits have been filed. Currently, litigation is pending, but the argument is simple: Comcast is using these fees to raise customer prices, without having to advertise higher rates.
They claim these fees allow them to recover the cost contracts or broadcasting or transmitting. But really, this is simply the cost of doing business.
They are charging you more while telling you you’re paying less.
These fees have increased by 200%. Read that again – over 200%.
Here’s hoping they lose. Check out the Consumerist for the latest.
If I don’t want to pay these fees, what can be done
It’s unlikely they will directly remove these fees. Especially, if you get the sports package and live in the region those sports are shown. Instead, you should seek other discounts, and/or offers to offset these bloated fees.
The very simplest way is to use this link to chat with them. Plead your case, and ask for those fees to be removed.
If told no, ask about other discounts you qualify for? Ask if you can be given another discount to offset these.
You should make them aware you see competitors offering promotional rates if you were to switch. Also, see if Comcast is offering new subscribers better rates.
Ask: why should I, a loyal customer, pay more than a new one?
Call to Complain
This would be your last resort. Call and speak to the retention team, and say you want to cancel because your bill is too high. I can nearly guarantee you’ll be offered some sort of deal.
The retention team is their last line of defense to avoid losing business, and they are authorized to offer the best deals.
So indirectly, you can get the RSF waived.
And if all of this failed…
Well, go ahead and watch this video below. It will very accurately sum up how your feeling. Hopefully, you’ll laugh.
(Don’t watch if you are easily offended.)