The Federal Communications Commission recommended obligatory reimbursements today for cable or satellite television subscribers who experience outages.

The Commission is seeking public feedback on the Customer Rebates for Undelivered Video Programming During outages. Which tackles the increased number of programming outages that affect consumers. These blackouts are the result of cable operators and satellite television providers failing to obtain “retransmission consent” agreements with local broadcast station licensees.

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Several cable TV providers and streaming services have been unable to reach licensing deals. Resulting in customers losing access to stations for which they pay. This is especially alarming for football fans, as Comcast and Paramount nearly avoided a Super Bowl blackout before February’s big game. DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM, and Tegna recently reached an agreement to restore 64 television stations to subscribers in 51 areas that went down in late 2023.

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Blackouts are becoming more common as cable feuds escalate, resulting in local TV stations being cut. Since 2020, 83 blackouts have occurred owing to tensions between DIRECTV and Nexstar, Spectrum and Disney, and DIRECTV and Tegna.

Customers who lose access to programs due to licensing agreement are still required to pay the full amount for services. Customers who requested a $10 rebate from DIRECTV or Tegna received it.

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Customers frequently do not receive a reimbursement offer for the loss of service.

“When customers are unable to watch the local news, their favorite show, or a sporting event on their cable or satellite service due to a retransmission blackout, they are not receiving what they paid for. “That is not right,” stated Chairwoman Jessica Rosenwrocel in a statement to Cord Cutters News. “That’s why we’re starting a conversation about the best way to ensure that when viewers turn on that screen, they get what they pay for.”

The proposal wants feedback on how to require cable and satellite providers to offer reimbursements in the event of a blackout. The Commission is working on many consumer protection measures. Including broadband service consumer labels, “all-in” price information for cable and satellite bills and promotional materials. Reducing junk costs, such as early termination penalties, for canceling cable and satellite services.