One of the things that was always a lingering question for cable/satellite subscribers regarding the Cubs’ new TV channel, Marquee Sports Network: Would the addition of the channel would result in an extra cost for those subscribers?
I can’t speak for subscribers to other companies, but Comcast/Xfinity answered that question for its subscribers Tuesday, when the cable provider sent an email to those of us who subscribe to its service noting an increase in the monthly regional sports network fee for carrying Marquee:
This content, however, increases our costs, and beginning on October 1, 2020 the monthly regional sports network fee for your area will increase by $6.20.
Adding sports content can affect costs because regional sports networks charge us to make their channels available to Xfinity customers. Xfinity passes these fees on to our customers through the “regional sports network fee” on your monthly bill.
The regional sports fee, which had been $8.25 a month, thus increases to $14.45 a month. The fee includes Marquee and NBC Sports Chicago, the two RSNs in the Chicago market. This is a much larger increase than had been anticipated; earlier estimates had the RSN fee for adding Marquee at around $2.50.
With baseball not being played from April through June 2020, Comcast is giving some money back to customers, per the email:
We are providing you a courtesy adjustment of $13.17 on your account. Due to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Major League Baseball games were not played or broadcast this year from April through June. We have been working hard to recover the fees we were charged by regional sports networks during the hiatus and will continue to work to recover additional funds where possible. We’re committed to giving customers 100% of what we receive back from those networks, now and in the future.
It remains to be seen whether the $6.20 increase in the fee will result in any cancellations for Comcast. The fee is paid whether you watch sports or not. There’s also a “Broadcast TV fee” included in the bills, which in mine is $11.70. That’s for Comcast to carry the over-the-air channels.
Further, the fact that Comcast got money back to rebate to customers also means that the teams, including the Cubs, likely got less money from their networks than they had expected in 2020.
Thought you’d all like to know.