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FiOS Adding Regional Sports Network Fee

Verizon is following DIRECTV’s lead by adding a regional sport network surcharge to FiOS TV bills.  The move is designed to offset the ever increasing costs of sports programming in many major markets.   How much extra will you pay if you are a FiOS TV subscriber?

The initial surcharge that will be added to month-to-month customers bills is $2.42.  While that doesn’t sound like a lot, don’t be surprised if it creeps up each and every year.   Many cities now have more than one regional sports network – specifically Los Angeles and New York.  

Distributors like Verizon and DIRECTV have been forced to add fees to recoup higher costs associated with both regional sports channels and national networks like ESPN.  The most recent dispute in the Southern California market has been over Time Warner SportsNet, a channel dedicated to the Los Angeles Lakers.  Time Warner has reportedly been asking nearly $4 a month per subscriber each month for the rights to the channel.  DIRECTV initially balked at those terms, leading to a blackout on the channel for several weeks at the start of the NFL season.

Verizon also faces high regional sports channel fees in New York City, where the Yankees have their own dedicated sports network called YES.   Add to that new reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner are teaming up to create another regional channel and you see why Verizon will have to raise prices in some way to keep all of these premium sports channels on the air.

The regional sports fee will only apply to month-to-month subscriptions initially, but FiOS customers will see the charge added when their contract ends or if they change their programming package.  The fee will also apply first in California, Texas and Florida in February.   It will be added in New York and all other states with FiOS in March and April.

 

6 Comments

  1. I called Verizon today about this absurd surcharge and was told it was a tax. There is no option about pay or not. Verizon told me if I didn’t like it I should contact my local government. More taxation without representation. It is absurd to have to pay a fee for this if one does not watch sports. Let those who do watch absorb the cost. Yet another rip-off of the cable industry – having to pay for something we don’t want.

  2. Verizon lied to you about this being a Tax. It is an additional charge that goes to Verizon and Verizon alone. It is NOT a tax or even a government fee. It is simply more revenue to Verizon, but they are right that there is no choice. All they want to do is be able to charge more for sports programming than the cost of the package. This is just like all the fees that hotels, airlines, etc. charge.

  3. i agree direct tv is a ripoff for charging a fee for sports channel which i never watch.i contacted local comsumers group and state attorney also federal trade commissioner and voice my complaints.enpough complaints about being charged double for something we didnt ask for dont wantj ust might get some positive results from govn about hidden costs that cable tv squawks about so much and they are the biggest offenders

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