FCC Proposes Ban On Pay-TV Early Termination Fees

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair Jessica Rosenworcel has proposed an end to cable and satellite TV operators’ practice of charging subscribers early termination fees.

Rosenworcel filed a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for an initial vote during the FCC’s December 13 public meeting.

The proposal would also require multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to issue pro-rated rebates for the remaining days in a billing cycle when subscribers cancel in mid-cycle.

The requirements -- which would not apply to the streaming services that are already driving a massive exodus of cable/satellite subscribers -- would clearly give consumers more choice, but it will deliver another major financial hit to MVPDs, which might attempt to pass it along in the form of even higher subscriber fees.



In proposing the changes, Rosenworcel cited President Joe Biden’s executive order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, which encouraged the FCC to ban “unjust or unreasonable early termination fees for end-user communication contracts.”

“No one wants to pay junk fees for something they don’t want or can’t use,” Rosenworcel said. “When companies charge customers early termination fees, it limits their freedom to choose the service they want.”

The order starts the process of public comments and agency review before a vote on a final order. At present, Rosenworcel would most likely have the commissioner votes to pass the proposal. 

1 comment about "FCC Proposes Ban On Pay-TV Early Termination Fees".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, November 22, 2023 at 7:50 p.m.

    Remaining days?  How unfair.  Should be the remaining minutes and seconds. Does anyone have change for a penny?

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