Possible $11 Million In Education Fines For Cable Companies

acwriter

DTVUSA Member
#1
There are approximately seven cable and telco multichannel video providers that may be facing $11 million dollars in fines due to negligence in informing their customers about the upcoming DTV transition. Chairman Kevin Martin of the Federal Communications Commission has announced that the commission is purposing these fines, when they have their next public meeting on December 18, 2008. These fines are a result of providers not doing all they can to inform the public of the upcoming DTV transition and giving their customers all the facts concerning the transition. The FCC feels the companies could be more aggressive in informing their customers through venues such as; more video announcements on the DTV transition and informative announcements on customers’ billing statements.

In addition to these concerns, the meeting will be covering other issues regarding; channel placement from the different providers, billing issues and independent programmers’ concerns. They will be talking about new rules that prevent programmers, cable, satellite or broadcast, from dictating channel placement. If the new rules are enforced, they would allow programmers the freedom to continue to charge what they want, but the broadcasting companies could place the channels in different categories. With this freedom, companies are saying that they could lower their prices for the various programming and channels. While the FCC does have some authority limitations in this area, they are urging the broadcasters and cable companies to come to an agreement that will benefit all concerned. The companies are also asking for an extension deadline past the DTV transition date in February 2009 to work out all the kinks.

Ref: FCC Proposes $11M In DTV Education Fines - BroadcastNewsroom
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Great post AC. It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out...

Determining what constitutes a violation by the FCC for failure to educate cable customers might be a tricky one to prove, and I'd also be interested in knowing how the FCC arrived at the dollar amount fines for each company.
 

57vette

DTVUSA Rookie
#3
I wonder why any obligation was placed on the cable companies to inform customers about DTV in the first place. By law, they are to provide both analog and digital to customers until 2012 anyway.

Hear me out. If cable and satellite companies are fined, guess who's going to foot the bill? That's right, the American public. Slap their wrists and be done with it. If my Direct TV bill gets any higher, I'll have to take out a second mortgage.
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#4
I wonder why any obligation was placed on the cable companies to inform customers about DTV in the first place. By law, they are to provide both analog and digital to customers until 2012 anyway.

Hear me out. If cable and satellite companies are fined, guess who's going to foot the bill? That's right, the American public. Slap their wrists and be done with it. If my Direct TV bill gets any higher, I'll have to take out a second mortgage.
The problem is, these cable companies will never learn if we don't hit them in the pocket books.
 
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