Commission On Retransmission Fee Increase

February 8, 2021 | 9 Comments

“The decision to increase fees was arrived at through careful and thoughtful deliberation by the Telecommunications Commission; how and if these allowed rates are passed on to the customer is a business decision of One Communication,” the Commission explained today.

One Communications: $11.25 Per Month

This follows after One Communications announced that residential FibreWire TV customers will have a Local Programming Fee added to their invoice of $11.25 per month.

The company said, “Following months of protracted negotiations between One Communications and Bermuda Broadcasting Company [BBC], the Telecommunications Commission set new rates for the retransmission of Channels 7 [ZFB] and 9 [ZBM]. The Commission’s final decision is retroactive in effect from November 1, 2020.

“Beginning on March 1, 2021, One Communications’ residential FibreWire TV customers will have a Local Programming Fee added to their invoice of $11.25 per month to cover the increased fees and retroactive nature of the changes.”

The BBC previously noted that the ”decision to increase retransmission rates was made by the independent Telecommunications Commission” and the “BBC has lobbied for years for rates that more closely reflect market value and international industry standards, in light of the ever-increasing costs of purchasing and producing TV content, including the nightly local news and exclusive network affiliate programmes.”

Telecommunications Commission Statement

The  Telecommunications Commission said, “In October 2020, One Communications advised the Telecommunications Commission that they had reached an impasse in negotiations under section 12 of the Cable Television Services Regulations 1987 during the ‘election period’ on retransmission consent.

“The salient matter was that the Bermuda Broadcasting Company was requesting a rate increase for the retransmission of their content, which is primarily the network affiliates’ costs for CBS and ABC content, and the production of local content. It is worth noting that BBC was successful in negotiating a rate for retransmission with the other local carriers.

“The Telecommunications Commission met on several occasions, and requested submissions from each of the two carriers, and arrived at a decision in the first week of January, in which the Commission granted an increase based on the cost of the network affiliate content, which had increased quite dramatically since the last election period, which was in 2014.

“In order to preserve local jobs, and in an effort to meet the needs of both parties while looking after the interests of the public, the decision was reached to allow the increase, retroactive to the end of the last agreement between the carriers, which was October 31st, 2020.

“The rate decision determined by the TC was based on the range of rates the parties submitted in their attempt to negotiate a commercial agreement. The Commission’s decision was based in part on the following:

  • To preserve the legal transmission of network affiliate content on local cable television networks;
  • To ensure the production and transmission of news and local events by the BBC;
  • To help safeguard the jobs of approximately 40 Bermudian employees by the BBC.

“In respect of cost to One Communications, the Commission’s decision was based in part on the need for One to pay a fair market rate for the BBC’s content.

“The decision to increase fees was arrived at through careful and thoughtful deliberation by the Telecommunications Commission; how and if these allowed rates are passed on to the customer is a business decision of One Communication.”

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Comments (9)

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  1. Jerry says:

    What the same One Communications that reported profits most recently of $63m for the first half of 2020?

    Outrageous. I’m glad we have a commission that looks out for the public!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Sounds more like we have a commission comprised of people who don’t subscribe to One and aren’t affected by the outrageous hike in any way.
      I’ll keep saying it .. BBC should be paying One (and WOW) to carry their programming otherwise they would not be in over 20,000 + homes and they sure as h**l wouldn’t be getting any advertising revenue return on the handful of homes still utilizing an outdoor antennae !

  2. Unfair says:

    Would the commission please look into the fact that I am currently paying for channels, in a package, that are not transmitted in English. Namely Portuguese and French. Hopefully they might consider this to be an absolute violation of customer rights.

  3. Hmmm says:

    Cut the cable folks. There’s no way these cable companies are providing a service worth what they charge.

  4. Still Laughing says:

    I’m sorry, but that fee increase cannot be justifiable to keep two lousy channels, especially when you get better quality broadcasting of the same shows on the Canadian stations. Time to cut the cord and get a Firestick.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Firestick has it’s issues as well however after quite some time procrastinating the cable/signal from WOW was cut.

      No local news. No miss. The standard of local media has been slipping for quite some time. Somebody on radio or TV is not needed to read the paper to me. Don’t even need the drivel that is supposed to be radio broadcasting any longer.

  5. Imjustsaying says:

    Paying for 2 channels that I never watch. It’s bad enough paying for other cable channels that I never watch, this is highway robbery. Something isn’t right here. SMH!

  6. Toodle-oo says:

    I think I can simplify my position for One and the BBC.
    I (and a whole lot of others)cancel my cable subscription and put up an outside antennae and then NO-ONE gets any money and I still get ZBM and ZFB for free .
    How ya like them apples ?

  7. Disgruntled says:

    I hate the lousy low volume from these local channels, then Station ID kicks in with a local commercial and I get ‘BLASTED’ by enormous volume that I have to turn on the mute until the local stuff ends. Not well calibrated!
    I hate this myriad of channels I don’t watch that I am charged for. CABLE SUCKS!! And they want a MASSIVE increase?! Not worth this stupidness. They are thieves and Gov’t needs to step in. This rate hike is way too steep in this Covid economy. These people are sick in their heads. Making tens of millions of dollars a year off the poor. NASTY!

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