Regional Sports Network Fee
TomDx
Enthusiast - Level 2

Why do I have to pay this fee if I don't watch sports?!!!!?  Verizon offers a {word filter avoidance} low tier package without

the channels I do watch... so there really is no choice but to payup!

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MeMeMe7
Enthusiast - Level 1

I just received my first bill after renewing my verizon contract, and discovered a charge that the rep didn't mention.  $2.98 Regional Sports Network Fee.   This was not on my previous bill (under the old contract.)  Why am I paying for something I don't use??   Just came from SanFrancisco.  Restaurants are tacking on a 1-4% "Employee Benefits Surcharge" to the bill, besides the 8.5% sales tax.   I used to be that businesses paid their own operating expenses out of regular income.  They worked harder to may a bigger profit.   Gotta keep those profits up!

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Caps09
Specialist - Level 2

Verizon has no choice but to carry regional sports networks on Prime or above. Without that, the channels refuse to make a carriage deal. There is enough demand for local/regional sports that they must carry the channels. The "RSN fee" is Verizon's only way to call them out and expose how much the channels generally cost. We could see this morph into a 6 or 7 dollar RSN fee for the NY area, and maybe 10 or 12 for the LA area after the Dodgers launch their new channel next year. Maybe we'll all even see a $5 "ESPN fee". You're right though, there really is no other choice but to pay up for now.

TomDx
Enthusiast - Level 2

What I don't understand is why they force people who don't watch sports to subsidize those that do.  Why can't they require people that want Sports to pay for the channels like they do for HBO & Showtime?  I find it really hard to believe that the majority of households want all these specialize sports channels.

Caps09
Specialist - Level 2

Because without everyone paying 2 or 3 dollars a month, the channels would cost ten times that much. Mostly though, they want their channels to be available to the widest audience possible, and they apparently have the leverage to make that happen. Look back to the posts last fall when Lakers fans were losing their minds before Time Warner Cable Sportsnet was picked up by Verizon. TWCSN got their way with broad carriage and about $4 per subscriber. This is how valuable regional sports rights are. Of course, I'm only speaking of regional sports nets, not specialty sports channels like MLB, NHL, Fox Soccer, beIN, etc. Those are all on higher packages.

TomDx
Enthusiast - Level 2

I understand what you saying, but according to that logic then why not charge everyone an extra $3 a month and then I can have HBO & Showtime for $3 a month instead of $30. People who want to watch Bill Mauher and the Sorprano's have to pay a premium fee, so why not make Sports a premium channel(s)?  It seems like there is more going on then just  FIOS or Cable wanting to diversify their line-up.  If making Sports a premium channel can't generate the revenue to make itself profitable, then I guess the demand isn't there... and if that's the case, forcing a take it or leave it surcharge (that is not a tax or an unexpected expense that the business cannot avoid) really amounts to extortion of the majority.

armond_in_nj1
Master - Level 1

@TomDx wrote:

 ... according to that logic then why not charge everyone an extra $3 a month and then I can have HBO & Showtime for $3 a month instead of $30. People who want to watch Bill Mauher and the Sorprano's have to pay a premium fee, so why not make Sports a premium channel(s)?  It seems like there is more going on then just  FIOS or Cable wanting to diversify their line-up ... forcing a take it or leave it surcharge ... amounts to extortion of the majority.


"Extortion of the majority" is unfortunately not a new idea.  As they used to say in the neighborhood when I was growing up, "The fix is in."

There is a vast amount of behind-the-scenes activity on K Street and in corporate boardrooms that "John Doe" (i.e., you and I) will never see.  However this doesn't mean we're unaware of its existence and more importantly, subject to its penalties. 

When all is said and done, it still takes bags of cash (and undocumented workers without full benefits))to keep those East Hampton swimming pools clean, those limos filled with expensive gasoline, and those helicopters maintained and ready to fly to DC at the slightest hint of new regulation.

Never forget that even paranoid folks have enemies.

bobbo527
Specialist - Level 3

@TomDx wrote:

Why do I have to pay this fee if I don't watch sports?!!!!?  Verizon offers a {word filter avoidance} low tier package without

the channels I do watch... so there really is no choice but to payup!


You are correct and I agree it does stink. But it is inescapable, ALL Cable/Satellite companies are now charging this  not just Verizon. I believe DIRECTV's is $5 a month. It's because Sport channel costs have become ridiculous.

cascade545
Enthusiast - Level 1

I have gotten my bill down to about $144 a month fromover $200.  I purchased a RoKu box and I can get most of what I want through it.  Cable is slowlly finding out they are finally going to have to cater to the public.  More and more affordable content by way of Amazon, Netflix and the 100's of free stations made available through media boxes like this make it apparent to them.

Look at Netflix.  They found, with a relatively small audiences intrest, they can afford to produce a QUALITY show like House of Cards with actors starring in it like Kevin Spacey, and do it on the cheap. More and more content is conig available like this.  There is a pilot available on Amazon with John Goodman.  Jerry Sinefeld is making free content.  Give it time my friend, and the networks are eventuall going to realize the ride on easy street is OVER for therm!

techguypgh
Enthusiast - Level 1

For those who say that there certainly is no alternative to paying the Regional Sports Network Fee I say this: go to your local electronics store and get a receiver for local channels and then find another provider for your phone/internet. I pay $4 a day for 400 channels (as well as internet) when I have internet on my phone (that's another $3.23 a day) and I watch maybe 4 channels a month for about an hour a day, or 30 hours per month. In other words, I am paying $4 a day for 396 channels that I have no time to watch because I am too busy working to make money to then turn over to my phone provider and Verizon. What is wrong with this picture? The bottom line is that this fee is a conspiratorial attempt to deprive consumers of choice. The freedom of choice is a basic tenet in the American system of jurisprudence and our culture. Forcing Americans to pay for something they do not consume (or watch) is criminal. When I called Verizon to complain about this fee I was told "Call Congress" and I plan to do so, but in the meantime, I am shopping around for other services. No American would pay for food they didn’t eat, or allow a payroll tax to be collected and turned over to alcoholics to provide them free alcohol, and there's no excuse for us to tolerate this. CALL YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TODAY - then cancel your service! That's the alternative to "paying up."

sangs1
Specialist - Level 2

@techguypgh wrote:
Forcing Americans to pay for something they do not consume (or watch) is criminal. 

Nobody is being forced to do anything. TV is a luxury, not a necessity. You are not legally obligated to purchase a subscription to any television, internet or cellular service. When lawmakers start telling us that it's illegal to not have these things and that we'll be subjected to fines or imprisonment for not doing so, then you can start marching on Washington. So ease up on the rhetoric and let's stop making this out to be something it's not, OK? 

armond_in_nj1
Master - Level 1

@sangs wrote:
... When lawmakers start telling us that it's illegal to not have these things and that we'll be subjected to fines or imprisonment for not doing so, then you can start marching on Washington ...

Stranger things have happened.  As I'm sure you're aware, there are municipalities in the US where firearm ownership is mandatory (and I'm not making this up).

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diamonddisc
Enthusiast - Level 1

This kind of sounds like what they are doing with healthcare. They are forcing us to buy it or pay a fine. I guess its time to march on Washington! Lets go all 1776 on their **bleep**!

jsm11482
Enthusiast - Level 2

Verizon is optional, income tax is not. So Verizon aren't the crooks here, our gov't is for setting the standard of blanket-taxing the public and redistributing their wealth!

But I'm still really annoyed by this sports fee. And I agree that we should not be required to pay this fee if we don't want these channels anyway!

I agree that if these sports channels have become too expensive to be "free", they should be reated like HBO/Cinemax/Starz/etc. and consumers should pay for them, instead of charging all of us to have channels we don't even want to begin with!

Turkeyboy
Newbie

@jsm11482 wrote:

Verizon is optional, income tax is not. So Verizon aren't the crooks here, our gov't is


Sorry but that's **bleep**.  The government is not the one imposing the sports fee, at least from the research I'm seeing, it's a **bleep** way to nickel-and-dime their way to advertise a different price than they actually charge.  No different than lube places advertising price for an oil change then itemizing out inescapable recycling fees, or an airline advertising a ticket then charging extra for the luxury of taking off.  Instead of saying "this is what this costs".

I would feel better if the whole bundle cost more and they didn't try and blame someone else for the charge which is inescapable in the first place.

I noticed it on my bill today when fighting with Verizon for allowing payperviews to be ordered despite purchase controls being turned on, was told they could take it off if they took off all sports channels.  So after RedZone season is over we're downgrading anyway.  Once a la carte cable becomes viable it will be a happy day on earth.

What MagicJack did to our phone bill I hope to someday do to our cable bill.  Verizon is the devil.

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bobbo527
Specialist - Level 3

@Turkeyboy wrote:

@jsm11482 wrote:

Verizon is optional, income tax is not. So Verizon aren't the crooks here, our gov't is


Sorry but that's **bleep**.  The government is not the one imposing the sports fee, at least from the research I'm seeing, it's a **bleep** way to nickel-and-dime their way to advertise a different price than they actually charge.  No different than lube places advertising price for an oil change then itemizing out inescapable recycling fees, or an airline advertising a ticket then charging extra for the luxury of taking off.  Instead of saying "this is what this costs".

I would feel better if the whole bundle cost more and they didn't try and blame someone else for the charge which is inescapable in the first place.

I noticed it on my bill today when fighting with Verizon for allowing payperviews to be ordered despite purchase controls being turned on, was told they could take it off if they took off all sports channels.  So after RedZone season is over we're downgrading anyway.  Once a la carte cable becomes viable it will be a happy day on earth.

What MagicJack did to our phone bill I hope to someday do to our cable bill.  Verizon is the devil.


Again, it is NOT just Verizon but the Cable/Satellite industry as a whole is doing this. Every single carrier is charging a "Regional Sports Fee". The true way to get around it is to make ALL sports channels their own "tier", that way people who are willing to pay for them would get all the channels at an additional cost and those who do not want to pay for them would get absolutely no sports channels.

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Greg26001
Contributor - Level 2

ALL blame goes to the greed of your favorite local sports teams, do not blame Verizon. 

Turkeyboy
Newbie

Downgraded this week, their greed of "just" $3.48 ended up saving me over $40 a month when I went all the way down.  Does not cost them any less to offer me less, but I am saving.

Not to jinx anything but the on demand programming even of channels not offered in the Prime package still appear to be available.  In HD no less, something they were not providing on live tv before I slashed my bill!

I'm filing complaints with BBB and FTC for false advertising, as the price listed for all packages above Prime are different than advertised.  Verizon claimed the reason for this was so that I would know what it actually costs, not think it was part of the bill.  I claim that they should advertise the actual price, because then why not itemize out every other cost associated with running a business.  Won't do anything, but it'll make me feel better.

Had thought about going to Comcast, but they seem to have a "broadcast tv fee" which sounds worse on principle, even if it is half the price.

Seriously, why don't these **bleep** charge everyone a "website fee" or "payroll fee" or a fee for anything else they have to pay.  If it's unavoidable, IT'S THE COST OF THE PRODUCT.  Represent it as such.

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bobbo527
Specialist - Level 3

@techguypgh wrote:

For those who say that there certainly is no alternative to paying the Regional Sports Network Fee I say this: go to your local electronics store and get a receiver for local channels and then find another provider for your phone/internet. I pay $4 a day for 400 channels (as well as internet) when I have internet on my phone (that's another $3.23 a day) and I watch maybe 4 channels a month for about an hour a day, or 30 hours per month. In other words, I am paying $4 a day for 396 channels that I have no time to watch because I am too busy working to make money to then turn over to my phone provider and Verizon. What is wrong with this picture? The bottom line is that this fee is a conspiratorial attempt to deprive consumers of choice. The freedom of choice is a basic tenet in the American system of jurisprudence and our culture. Forcing Americans to pay for something they do not consume (or watch) is criminal. When I called Verizon to complain about this fee I was told "Call Congress" and I plan to do so, but in the meantime, I am shopping around for other services. No American would pay for food they didn’t eat, or allow a payroll tax to be collected and turned over to alcoholics to provide them free alcohol, and there's no excuse for us to tolerate this. CALL YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TODAY - then cancel your service! That's the alternative to "paying up."


 

Sorry, but like I said I agree that regional sports charge is the absolute pits, but your rhetoric is completely off base. Nobody is forcing you to do anything and Cable TV is a luxury, not a staple required to survive (comparing Cable tv to food is silly as is the rest of that argument you made). You have freedom of choice, the choice not to pay it (i.e. not to watch/subscribe Cable/satellite tv).

CommonTater
Newbie

This sports network fee is new since April 2013, and is broken out from the main TV fee to keep its price at least looking like it is competitive. Who knows when a "cooking channel" fee, or a "DIY network" fee, or any other specialty fee will be imposed? This fee, unlike the PEG, regulatory recovery, and video franchise fee, is totally from Verizon to counter their cost of rising sports channel fees, and not from any external entity imposing a fee on Verizon. Anyone objecting to this might want to contact Verizon and let them know how you feel.

I do not agree with Bobbo527 that it is inescapable. You can also contact the "retention department" by calling the 800 verizon number and pressing #4, then #2 (according to a Verizon agent).

A Verizon agent let me know that if I had the "select HD" package, it wouldn't include this fee,and it doesn't look half bad. It is at http://www.verizon.com/home/select-hd/  but doesn't include the History Channel that I like.

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Eldora1
Enthusiast - Level 2
The bottom line is, it's all about pounding us with fees and the companies turning bigger profits at our expense. Keep your stupid sports channels: CBS is bombarding viewers with TENNIS and NBS is bombarding viewers with GOLF for hours on end anyway. And we have to pay extra for sports channels WHY???? We don't even have SPEED anymore. Who needs FS1 or ESPN?
scooter91
Newbie

I'm just seeing this charge of $4.68 for the first time on my bill.  The iornic part is that I just dropped my premium sports channel 😞

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