Some DirecTV customers are getting hit by a new fee, with the satellite operator adding a "regional sports fee" of about $3 a month to new customers who subscribe to a channel tier above basic entertainment packages, reports The Wall Street Journal. (The WSJ is a subscription site and not all readers may be able to access the site.)
The fee is only added for new customers in some markets, such as New York and Los Angeles, according to a representative from DirecTV. That’s because those areas have multiple regional sports networks on which several major teams are broadcast, the story says.
The fee "is a way of recovering some, but not all, of the skyrocketing cost of sports in certain markets," the rep said.
The piece reports: "Disclosure of the fee comes amid an intensifying debate about rising sports costs in television. In the past year or so, several media executives from cable and satellite firms and some other entertainment companies have complained that steep fees charged by sports channels are forcing up prices that consumers are charged for pay TV."
"That in turn is raising worries about consumers disconnecting their pay TV subscription, or cutting the cord," the piece adds.