The New York Attorney General has asked cable and satellite providers to cut or eliminate fees associated with live sports as the pandemic calls a time-out for most sporting events.
Most cable and satellite TV provides charge extra for bundles that include live sports programming. However, with most leagues canceling, postponing, or moving live sports events, subscribers are not getting the programming they are paying for. New York Attorney General, Letitia James, states that it is “grossly unfair that cable and satellite television providers would continue to charge fees for services they are not even providing. These companies must step up and immediately propose plans to cut charges and provide much needed financial relief.”
If you don’t get to watch live sports then why are you paying to?
With the cancellation of all live sports, I called on seven major cable & satellite providers in New York to cut fees for live sporting events & provide critical financial relief for consumers.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) April 29, 2020
James sent letters to major providers including Altice USA, AT&T Inc., Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, DISH Network, RCN Corporation, and Verizon Communications, requesting each company issue a plan on how they will provide financial relief for customers. These plans should include way to “appropriate refunds, discounts and reductions of charges and fees, payment deferrals, and waiver of termination fees, at least until live sports programming resumes.”
With the economy struggling from the effects of COVID-19, many New Yorkers are facing economic anxiety. Customers with live sports packages often pay an additional $20-50 per month but have not been receiving any programming for these extra fees. Instead, live sports channels have provided programming that includes reruns of past classics.
However, in their defense TV providers have been positioning themselves as being caught in the middle. These providers are appealing to programmers for rebates or make-goods. Once a league determines their game plan as live sports resume, TV providers could receive rebates or price adjustments from regional sports networks. Yet, in the interim it remains to be seen what relief consumers will be given.
If you’re ready to get rid of your cable provider altogether, check out our guide to watch TV online live.