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Why consumers may soon see 'all-in' pricing from cable and satellite providers

In latest effort to eliminate junk fees, FCC will consider new rules
Cable Box
Posted at 9:40 AM, Mar 11, 2024

We've all seen the promos and commercials offering a service for $100 per month, when it's really a lot more than that.

This week, the Federal Communications Commission will consider rules requiring cable and satellite TV providers to display the "all-in" price for video programming on promotional materials and bills.

According to an online draft, "consumers experience 'considerable' confusion and surprise when unanticipated charges and fees for cable and DBS video programming are not included in the advertised price . . ."

This comes at a time when many consumers are forced to decide between cable and streaming. And also, between different streaming services.

"Those apps are becoming more and more expensive; the prices are creeping up," said Vincent Piturro, a film and media studies professor at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.

He said when the cost of subscribing to multiple streaming services starts to surpass cable, consumers take notice. When choosing between services, Piturro said cost is second only to content, and not just movies and TV shows.

"The number one watched thing on TV is sports," he said, "and people will choose cable or an app most of the time based on their favorite sports teams."

When asked if he thought greater transparency would keep consumers from cutting the cord, "I think it's not that important," Piturro said. "I would place content number one, pricing number two. Transparency is probably down the list because I think we're just so used to that lack of transparency in everything these days."

The FCC will consider a report and order on the all-in pricing requirement at its commission meeting on March 14.