Public Knowledge Welcomes FCC Rule To Stop Pay-TV ‘Bait and Switch’ By Requiring ‘All-In’ Pricing

Soon pay-TV providers will have to do the once-unthinkable: actually tell you the cost of video programming before you subscribe.

Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve a Report and Order to force cable and satellite television providers to clearly state the “all-in” price for video programming in both promotional materials and on subscribers’ bills. The rule requires pay-TV services to disclose the actual price consumers will pay – including all charges, fees, and taxes – rather than offering a low-price and only disclosing these charges after the customer subscribes. Public Knowledge applauds the agency for helping consumers learn the true price of what they’re paying for before they sign up for video programming, preventing surprise costs while also improving consumer choice.

The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge:

“Today’s FCC action finally brings some basic fairness to subscribing to pay-TV – the result Congress clearly intended when it passed the ‘Television Viewer Protection Act’ five years ago. For too long, subscribers have had to suffer constant junk fee inflation from cable providers whenever they signed up for service. Customers have constantly seen the promised price of their new subscription inflated beyond recognition by these after-the-fact phony fees.

“For too long, customers have asked, ‘How is this even legal? How can they tell me one price, then charge me so much more?’ Finally, thanks to Chairwoman Rosenworcel, it is no longer legal to engage in such blatant price gouging. Everyone deserves to know how much they’re paying for a product. Now cable subscribers will finally get the basic fairness they deserve.”

You may view our previously filed comments and reply comments to learn more about why consumers need true pricing data before subscribing to pay-TV services.

Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at or 405-249-9435.