ACA Praises FCC Change To DBS Fees

The American Cable Association Friday was celebrating the FCC's decision to start charging satellite operators user fees on par with cable and telco MVPDs.

“ACA is very pleased with the FCC’s decision to adjust its regulatory fee schedule to ensure that DirecTV and DISH will pay fees to share the support burden of the Media Bureau’s oversight of cable operators, DBS providers, and IPTV providers," said ACA president Matt Polka.

ACA has been pushing for the change.

"It was long unjust to require cable and IPTV providers to foot the regulatory bill for work of the Media Bureau that benefited both cable and satellite TV providers."

Satellite providers had been paying on a per-satellite license basis, while other MVPDs paid on a per-sub basis.

“Attaining full regulatory fee parity will take some time under the FCC’s new approach," said Polka. "In fiscal 2015, under the FCC’s proposal, cable and IPTV providers will pay $61.3 million or $0.95 per video subscriber in regulatory fees, and DBS will pay $4.1 million or $0.12 per video subscriber to support the work of the Media Bureau. However, this is a good start. The FCC’s actions will drop the per video subscriber rate for cable TV systems, including IPTV, by $.04 per video subscriber from fiscal 2014."

ACA said it appreciated FCC commissioner Ajit Pai's support for the regulatory fee change.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.