TV Network Disputes

The price that a customer pays each month for a video package is driven largely by the fees that video service providers like GVTC are required to pay in order to retransmit the programs from companies that create or package the programming (the broadcast TV stations and cable networks).  Video service providers pay a set fee for every household that receives a given channel, regardless of whether anyone in that household watch the channel.

Those broadcast TV stations and cable networks can set certain rules or guidelines for how their shows and channels may be sold to customers.  This often means that video service providers like GVTC must include less popular programming in the more popular video packages.  Larger sports networks will many time add smaller regional sports networks to their channel offerings.  These less popular regional sports networks can be contractually required to be carried on the video service provider’s lineups.

Additionally, local broadcast TV stations have also begun demanding significant fees to carry programming that they offer for free over the air and via the Internet.  And many times these local broadcast TV stations will also contractually require video service providers to carry their primary channel as well as their secondary and less popular channels.  At GVTC, we don’t think it’s fair to make our customers pay for programming that others are receiving for free, but this is controlled by the companies that create the programs and content.

These factors, combined with escalating fees, drive up your costs for video service.  Due to this, many video service providers have begun charging Sports Broadcast and Broadcast Fee surcharges to offset these rising costs.

In the past few years, many video service providers have taken a stand against unreasonable fee increases by both cable networks and local broadcast TV stations.  GVTC as well as many other video service providers are pushing back against TV networks that demand more money without delivering more value.  Occasionally that push back results in a public dispute with both sides using TV, email, and other communication tactics to tell their side of the story.  And customers are caught in the middle.

For more information on broadcast fees and retransmission consent, please visit