The infractions included failure to respond fully to an FCC letter of inquiry regarding the practice of moving analog television programming to digital tiers – as the FCC put it, many answers for many cable companies were “non-responsive or incomplete.” There were failures to give subscribers 30 days notice on changes in subscription rates, and there was a similar lack of notice for changes in channel lineups resulting in the losses to the consumer. In all, nine companies were hit for over $500K.
And that may not be the half of it – in several cases where programming was kicked up onto a more expensive tier, companies will be required to provide refunds to customers who had reason to expect to continue to receive the channels.
The loss leader was Time Warner Cable with a total of $137.5K in fines, followed by Cox Communications ($92.5K), Cablevision Systems ($77.5K), Comcast Corp. ($55K), Charter Communications ($40K), Harron Communications ($32.5K), and with $25K each, Bright House, MidContinent and Suddenlink.
RBR/TVBR observation: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the cable industry is not going to miss Kevin Martin.