NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James recently called on seven major cable and satellite television providers in New York to provide financial relief for consumers amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by reducing or eliminating fees attributable to live sports programming. Despite the fact that all live sporting events in the United States have been cancelled, cable and satellite television providers continue to charge and collect high fees for live sports programming and refuse to reduce the cost of packages that normally include live sports programming. In letters to Altice USA, AT&T Inc., Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, DISH Network, RCN Corporation, and Verizon Communications, Attorney General James requested that the companies immediately prepare and provide plans to the Attorney General’s Office for how they will provide financial relief to consumers until live sports programming is resumed.
“At a time when so many New Yorkers have lost their jobs and are struggling, it is grossly unfair that cable and satellite television providers would continue to charge fees for services they are not even providing,” said Attorney General James. “These companies must step up and immediately propose plans to cut charges and provide much needed financial relief. This crisis has brought new economic anxiety for all New Yorkers, and I will continue to protect the wallets of working people at every turn.”
Cable and satellite television subscribers pay up to $20 a month in extra fees to access live sporting events, but even with the cancellation of all live sporting events in the United States, cable and satellite television providers are still charging consumers the same amounts and refusing to provide refunds or cancellations.
In her letter to these cable and satellite television providers, Attorney General James requested that these companies prepare and provide a plan for “appropriate refunds, discounts and reductions of charges and fees, payment deferrals, and waiver of termination fees, at least until live sports programming is resumed.”
With more than 1.2 million New Yorkers losing their jobs and countless more in financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, Attorney General James urged these companies to act to minimize the financial burdens on consumers.