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Spectrum Will Raise its Broadcast TV Fee in March

Lauren Forristal

Cable companies were regularly hiking prices on U.S. consumers long before streaming existed. Now, amidst concerns of streamer subscription prices going up, Spectrum has become the latest cable provider to announce a rate increase. Thankfully, you can switch to a Live TV Streaming Services before the new price takes effect.

Effective March 18, Spectrum’s “Broadcast TV Fee” will increase by $3. Customers will have to pay $21 per month just to be able to watch their favorite local, over-the-air television stations.

The Broadcast TV Fee has been raised each of the last two summers; most recently, it was increased to $17.99 per month in June 2021. This means that Spectrum’s average surcharge for local, OTA stations is rising an average of $36 per year.

Spectrum is attributing the upcoming change to the fact that local broadcast and network-affiliated TV stations have significantly increased the rates that they charge to distribute the stations’ signals to customers.

Equipment fees are also increasing by another $1 per month, up to $9.99 per HD set-top cable box. Spectrum has been regularly increasing the cost of equipment rentals since its 2016 merger with Time Warner Cable. When the deal was approved more than five years ago, the company charged $4.99 per month for each set-top box. Since then, the cost has increased by $1 per year and 2022 is no different.

Spectrum is far from the only provider increasing costs this year. Comcast announced that it would be increasing its Broadcast TV & Regional Sports Fees by 20% in 2022 and DirecTV’s packages also experienced price increases in January.

If you’re a Spectrum customer and this price hike is the final straw for you — or if you want to reduce your TV costs — cutting the cable cord is the best way to save. While services like YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM, and Philo also experience price hikes, these providers don’t come with built-in hidden fees.

Also, services such as DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Philo, Sling TV, and YouTube TV each have a three to seven-day free trial, depending on which streamer you choose. While Hulu Live TV no longer offers a free trial, it does include the Disney Bundle (Disney+ and ESPN+) as part of your subscription.

Pricing for live TV services ranges from $25-$35 for skinny bundles like Sling TV and Philo up to $65-$70 for DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, and YouTube TV.

If you want to find the best service based on what channels they offer, try our Channel Finder. You can also use this to find out where to watch your favorite sports teams.