Here is some information I came across that was posted by ComcastZach:
Federal law allows local U.S. broadcast television stations (i.e., affiliates of networks such as CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, etc.) to negotiate with cable & satellite providers in order to obtain "consent" to carry their broadcast signals (Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992).
As a direct result of local broadcast, or "network-affiliated," TV stations increasing the rates to cable & satellite providers to distribute their signals to their customers, the providers will be passing those charges on as a Broadcast TV Surcharge or Fee. These local TV signals were historically made available to the providers at no cost, or low cost. However, in recent years the prices demanded by local broadcast TV stations have necessitated that the providers pass these costs on to customers.
Broadcast TV stations distribute their signals over the air, using free spectrum granted to them by the federal government. In effect, taxpayers are subsidizing the distribution of broadcast, or "network-affiliated," TV signals. These same broadcast TV stations are then allowed by the government to charge the providers for their signals. If the cable or satellite provider doesn't agree to pay, broadcasters can force the provider to drop their channels, thereby adversely impacting the providers customers.
Broadcast stations have the option of requiring cable & satellite providers to carry their stations for no monthly fee, or opting to negotiate a charge to cable & satellite providers for the right to carry their station. While there may still be some stations that do not demand payment from the providers for carriage, other local TV stations require significant payment from the providers, and it is their charges that are reflected in the Broadcast TV Surcharge or Fee.
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I see that you have already contacted another agent and had the credit issued to your account. If you have any further questions or concerns, please let us know and we will be happy to assist.
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Again is correct about this fee and here is more information about it. The Broadcast TV Fee is an itemized charge on your bill that is intended to offset of the rising costs of retransmitting broadcast television signals. Broadcast stations are allowed by the government to charge for their signals, and cable providers like Comcast are required by law to carry those signals and pay substantial fees to broadcasters. In recent years, our cost to retransmit broadcast television signals has more than doubled, and this itemized charge will make it clearer for you to see the factors that are driving price changes. If you have any other questions or concerns, please let us know and we will be happy to assist.
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