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What is the history behind Cable TV?

Over the past 65 years, Cable TV has gone through a series of transitions, technologically and legally. See how these changes affect you.

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What is “Retransmission Consent”?

Retransmission consent refers to a provision of the 1992 United States Cable Television Protection and Competition Act that requires cable operators and other multi-channel video programming distributors to obtain permission from broadcasters before carrying their programming.

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I don’t watch all of these networks. Why must I pay for all?

Carrying individual channels instead of a network owner’s entire “family of networks” is not an option offered to cable TV providers like RCN. We are forced to carry ALL networks from a given network owner.

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I don’t watch sports channels. Why must I pay this Sports Surcharge?

Sporting events are not limited to sports networks such as ESPN, MLB Network, NHL Network or other sports-centric channels. The rates we pay for non-sports networks are also affected by sports programming. General entertainment channels such as TBS, TNT and USA, carry live sports in addition to non-sports entertainment programming.

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Are these surcharges a government tax or fee?

These surcharges are not imposed by the government and are subject to change. These surcharges are not franchise fees, which are imposed by local franchising authorities (municipalities) as compensation for RCN’s use of the public right-of-ways or easements. These surcharges are also not taxes, which RCN collects on behalf of local, state, and federal governments. These surcharges help RCN recover a portion of the costs of programming content and the expenses RCN incurs from government mandated relocation of its facilities.

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