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CR Letter to U.S. Senate Commerce Committee for “The State of the Television and Video Marketplace” Hearing

Consumer Reports wrote members of the U.S Senate Commerce Committee in advance of a June 5th hearing on the state of the television and video marketplace. CR encouraged members of Congress to launch a serious, bipartisan effort to rewrite and improve the laws that govern all video offerings for consumers,  including traditional cable and direct broadcast satellite TV offerings, as well as services provided by online video distributors. CR said surprise fees and hidden charges on cable TV bills are one of the many challenges facing consumers in today’s video marketplace, citing the now-ubiquitous “broadcast TV fee”—a fee that accounts for billions of dollars of extra revenue for cable companies.  CR said consumers are “rightly furious to find that the advertised rate for cable service does not clearly include these fees and others that can dramatically raise the price of service. Antiquated rules passed into law more than a quarter century ago have set the stage for this consumer nightmare, and they must be revisited and changed where necessary.”  CR said it stands ready to work with lawmakers “to craft viable and creative solutions … that level the playing field for consumers in an increasingly expensive market.”