FCC wants to ensure cable and satellite customers get rebates for long blackouts

Robin Layton

Oct 11, 2023 — 1 min read

Commission also seeks to require ISPs to report outages to them.

Jessica Rosenworcel, commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.

September’s standoff between Charter and Disney left 15 million Spectrum cable customers without access to Disney’s channels, including ESPN, for 10 days. Blackouts like this have led the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to act.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced this week that, pending approval, the Commission will be taking public comment on rebates to cable and satellite television consumers affected by channel blackouts lasting more than 24 hours.

“Enough with the blackouts,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “When consumers with traditional cable and satellite service turn on the screen, they should get what they pay for. It’s not right when big companies battle it out and leave viewers without the ability to watch the local news, their favorite show, or the big game. If the screen stays dark, they deserve a refund.”

The FCC’s press release outlines this proposal, as well as one that will also require providers to notify the Commission of a “blackout due to a failure to reach a retransmission consent agreement with broadcast station(s)/group owners.”

The proposals will move forward if unanimously voted on by the Commission later this month. Until the refund measure becomes reality, check out which providers are known to provide bill credits for outages

Looking for a new TV provider? Allconnect can help you decide which one is best for your viewing needs.

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Robin Layton

Written by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

Robin Layton is an editor for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. She built her internet industry expertise writing and editing for four years on the site, as well as on Allconnect’s sister site MYMOVE.com. … Read more