TV providers might be forced to provide their total price for services on bills and in ads up front under a rule just proposed by the FCC, marking the Biden administration’s continued push against what it calls “junk fees.”
“Today, the FCC proposed a rule that would require cable and satellite TV providers to give consumers honest pricing up front — the latest action taken by my administration to crack down on junk fees, increase transparency and bring down costs for hardworking Americans,” President Joe Biden tweeted Tuesday.
The FCC said surprise fees can raise the amount of your bill significantly over what was originally advertised when you signed up. Things like “broadcast TV fee or regional sports programming surcharge” may be listed on your bill as taxes, surcharges and fees, the FCC said.
“This categorization can be potentially misleading and interpreted as a government-imposed tax or fee, instead of a company-imposed service fee increase,” the proposed rule says. “This proposal would require cable operators and (satellite) providers to clearly and prominently display the total cost of video programming service.”
The rule would help you avoid surprise fees, and also allow you to better compare TV services before you sign up for one.
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“Consumers deserve to know exactly what they are paying for when they sign up for a cable or direct broadcast satellite subscription,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.
The FCC is seeking comment on its proposed rule for the next 30 days.
The Biden administration has previously also taken aim at junk fees across hotel rooms, concert fees and banking, as well as a new set of rules that would see airlines disclose “surprise fees” upfront.
If you’re looking to move away from cable and satellite TV providers, here’s CNET’s list of the best live TV streaming service for cord cutters, the best internet providers for streaming and a comparison of Hulu Live, Sling TV, YouTube TV and more live TV providers.