Comcast Begins to Send Refunds to Customers For Games Not Aired on RSNs Due to COVID-19
Back in April, Comcast Cable was one of the major cable companies urged in a letter by New York Attorney General Letitia James to cut fees attributed to live sports programming given the fact that most games were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
During their Q2 2020 earnings call, David Watson, the president and CEO of Comcast Cable stated, “We expect that we’ll be getting some money back from some of the sports leagues based on games played or not played in the U.S. And when that does happen, we — as we’ve said, we’ll pass that back along to customers. So we’ve accrued for that on the revenue line, not billing people, and we’ll get that back on the expense line.”
Starting today, Comcast customers began receiving notice of just how much they are getting back, at least part of it. While it is not the same in every market, in larger ones, the refund was ~$8 a month, ~$25 in total for the three months (April, May, & June). Comcast says they will continue to refund if they get more refunds from the RSNs.
In a letter to customers, Comcast says:
As you know, many sports were not played or broadcast this year from April through June. We have been working hard to recover the fees regional sports networks charged us during the hiatus to pass back to our customers. This adjustment reflects what has been committed to us by the regional sports networks in your area to date. We will continue to work to recover additional fund where possible. We’re committed to giving customers 100% of what we receive, now and in the future.
Cable and satellite customers pay up to $15 per month is additional fees for sporting packages. However, since the lockdowns, cable companies continued to collect fees despite the fact that many games were canceled starting in March.
In her letters, James asked providers to find ways to “appropriate refunds, discounts and reductions of charges and fees, payment deferrals, and waiver of termination fees, at least until live sports programming is resumed.”