Comcast is issuing another regional sports channel rebate to some customers who could not watch live sports from March to July due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The company delivered some rebates to subscribers in October after the regional sports networks agreed to provide a credit to pay TV operators for past carriage fees. The October rebate ranged from $8 to $25. It’s unclear how much the new rebate is for, but some customers report it’s around $25.
“We are giving you a courtesy adjustment of $24.82 on your account this month,” Comcast said in an e-mail to one subscriber. “We are happy to bring you a courtesy adjustment in your bill this month for sporting events and broadcasts which were put on hold this year from April through July. We have continued to work hard to recover the fees regional sports networks charged us during the hiatus. This adjustment is in addition to the courtesy adjustment in your October bill and is part of our commitment to give customers 100% of what we receive, now and in the future.”
Many cable and satellite operators charge a monthly regional sports channel fee to offset the cost of carrying the channels. The fee can be as much as $10 a month. However, the Coronavirus-induced sports blackout in March soon prompted subscribers to complain that they weren’t getting what they paid for.
That led to discussions between the sports channels and the TV providers, and the channels ultimately agreed to credit the providers for past carriage payments. AT&T, Verizon, Dish and Charter are other pay TV operators who have provided, or plan to provide, rebates following the collection of the credits.
Bloomberg News writes that pay TV distributors may eventually return as much as $1.1 billion to regional sports subscribers.
For Comcast, the new rebate is well-timed. The cable operator is raising prices on most video packages, including a $2 a month increase to its regional sports fee.
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