While the FCC’s proposed $1.3mln increase in annual regulatory fees isn’t earth-shattering, NCTA is taking issue-not so much with the rise, but with the fact DBS doesn’t have to pay nearly as much. A Tues filing was noteworthy in that it’s the 1st time NCTA has raised the issue of fee disparity. The cable industry paid about $46mln in fees in ’04, while DirecTV and EchoStar forked over some $2mln. Why the disparity? Cable operators pay fees on a per sub basis, while DBS providers pay a facility-based fee based on geostationary space stations ($114,625/station). The FCC wants to increase this year’s cable fee to 72 cents/sub from 70 cents/sub in ’04. "There are mid-sized cable operators serving a fraction of the customers served by DirecTV and EchoStar that pay annual regulatory fees close to or more than what these companies pay," NCTA said. Mediacom paid $1mln last year for 1.5mln subs; Insight paid $891K for 1.3mln subs. Cable regulatory fees have increased nearly 49% from ’00 to ’04, while fees for DBS from ’00-’03, but decreased in ’04. NCTA wants the FCC to apply a per sub fee to DBS, arguing that a facility-based fee no longer holds given how dramatically DBS has changed, how cable has been deregulated and how there is a solidly competitive video marketplace. Under current rules, DirecTV and EchoStar would pay about 8 cents/sub in fees this year vs 72 cents/sub for cable, NCTA estimates. "Incongruously, as DBS has gained [subs] on cable, the government has imposed a heavier and more discriminatory fee burden on cable systems," NCTA said.

The Daily



ATSC 3.0-powered MVPD service Evoca TV added FETV (Family Entertainment Television) and FMC to its offerings in Idaho, Arizona and Colorado.

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up


Jan 21
Cablefax 100 – 2022 Nominations Due: January 21, 2022
Mar 11
The FAXIES 2022Entry Deadline: March 11
Apr 1
Cablefax Top Ops – 2022Nominations Due: April 1, 2022
Jun 3
The Diversity List – 2022Nomination Deadline: June 3
Aug 12
Most Powerful Women – 2022Nominations Due: August 12
Full Calendar


Seeking an INDUSTRY JOB?

Hiring? In conjunction with our sister brand, Cynopsis, we are offering hiring managers a deep pool of media-savvy, skilled candidates at a range of experience levels and sectors, The result will be an even more robust industry job board, to help both employers and job seekers.

Contact John@cynopsis.com for more information.