It’s been quite a trend that whenever you sign up for a service with an Internet Service Provider, they also bundle the broadcasting services with their internet connection.
The problem with the broadcasting services is that they charge you a Broadcast TV fee. It is something most of users have no clue about and they end up paying for it unnecessarily.
In this guide, you will understand Broadcast TV fees and why cable TV service providers and Internet service providers charge them. You will also learn how to get rid of the Broadcast TV fee.
Also Read: Best Live TV Apps for Android
What is a Broadcast TV Fee?
You might have noticed that whenever you receive your monthly bill for cable TV, there is a charge called Broadcast TV fee or Broadcast surcharge.
According to the Cable TV providers, this is the charge you have to pay to access your local broadcast affiliates like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.
Now you must be wondering, isn’t that what cable providers charge for the TV plan monthly, right? Well, that is correct.
The thing is, there is no government mandate for Broadcast TV fees. So the cable TV providers have full control over the prices. We often see cable TV providers increasing the Broadcast TV fee without any notice or warning.
Just so you know, this fee is not mandated by the government so it doesn’t really exist. It is just a clever tactic from the cable TV providers to make more money out of their customers.
Why Do Cable TV Providers Charge It?
The Cable TV providers say that the local broadcasting stations charge excessive fees for broadcasting TV shows in different regions. Now to pay the “excessive fees”, the cable TV providers also charge a portion of that fee from their users.
In reality, the Broadcast TV fee is nothing but a clever technique used by Cable TV providers to bank some more money from the users.
Can I Get Rid of Broadcast TV Fee?
One of the prime reasons Cable TV providers give for charging the Broadcast TV fee is that they provide local broadcast stations. But what if a customer does not watch TV or benefits from anything from the local broadcasting stations. In that case, it becomes important to get rid of the Broadcast TV fee.
What if I told you that you can save around US$ 100-150 annually if you just get rid of the Broadcast TV fee? Well, that is a lot of money in savings especially if you do not watch TV at all or watch it only on occasions.
Cable TV providers often sneak in this fee and most users do not even know about it. That is why they end up paying totally unnecessary fees for the things that they do not even benefit from.
However, there is a way to get rid of the Broadcast TV fee easily. This method will most likely work if you have cable TV bundled with your broadband connection or internet connection.
What you have to do is just call customer service and ask them to cancel your cable TV subscription.
The customer support reps are trained to convince you not to cancel it. So you will definitely observe some resistance. But you just have to be insistent and explain to them that you do not need the service and it is a waste for you.
If you try hard enough you might be successful in the attempt to cancel your broadcast services bundled with your internet connection. That way you won’t have to pay the Broadcast TV fees for no reason.
What Are the Alternatives to Broadcast TV Fee?
Now you must be wondering what if the cable TV is not bundled with an internet connection. Instead, it is just your cable TV providers charging you the fee? In that case, you have three main alternatives:
Over-The-Air(OTA) TV Antenna
Over-the-Air(OTA) TV antennas are easily available everywhere now. They only have one-time payments starting from around US$ 30. The great thing about these is that they pick up all the local stations along with their substations as well. So they basically do what the Cable TVs do and they also do not charge any Broadcast TV fee for it.
Cancel The TV Service
The first and very obvious alternative is to just cancel your TV service altogether. Now, this can be beneficial only if you do not watch the TV at all or just watch it occasionally. Because once you cancel your cable connection, you will definitely get rid of the broadcast fees but you will not be able to watch the TV too.
OTA Platforms and Streaming Services
Every TV channel and content-making company knows that the entertainment industry is now moving toward the internet. That is why most TV channels have their own OTA streaming platforms and apps. So if you are a person who occasionally watches a TV show or just watches a live sports event, you can just download the app for the channel having the broadcast rights and sign up with the streaming service to watch the content. The great thing about streaming services is that they allow you to watch the content at your own comfort and timing. ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney+ Hotstar are some of the few examples of streaming services.
Also Read: How to Hook Up Cable Box to TV Without HDMI?
So that was all about Broadcast TV fees and how to get rid of them. In case your ISP is adding on the fee for just broadcast services that you never really use, you can ask customer support to stop the broadcasting services. This depends on how much you can influence the customer support rep into canceling your broadcast service. That way, you can easily get rid of the Broadcast TV fee.
However, if your cable TV provider is charging you a Broadcast TV fee and you feel it’s unnecessary, it is time to look for some better alternatives.
We hope this article helps you in saving some money by getting rid of the Broadcast TV fee.