Spectrum Broadcast TV Surcharge

by Mark Chen | Updated 12/1/23

The Spectrum Broadcast TV Surcharge is a fee that Spectrum charges pay TV customers to provide TV channels like CBS, NBC, and Fox.

It’s not optional and most Spectrum TV customers are forced to pay $21 a month because of it.

At BillSmart, many of the complaints that we get about Spectrum are about the broadcast tv fee.

Thankfully, we’re able to help many of these clients fully offset the surcharge or save even more on their Spectrum service.

If you’re tired of being gouged by Spectrum, sign up to BillSmart by clicking the button below.

We save our clients $352 on average and our negotiations are free if we don’t save you money.

How Much Is The Spectrum Broadcast TV Surcharge

Most Spectrum TV customers are paying $21 a month for the Spectrum Broadcast TV surcharge.

$21 a month is the most common monthly fee, but we’ve seen customers who are charged $16.99 a month or $23.70 a month.

These are significant price increases.

The $21 a month fee will apply whether you pay $120 a month for TV or $40 a month.  For lower tier plans, the $21 a month surcharge is a 50% increase in the cost of your service.

Previously, the Spectrum Broadcast TV surcharge was $17.99 a month.  They increased the price in May 2022 and unfortunately, these fees are likely to continue to go higher and higher.

spectrum broadcast tv surcharge examples

Fortunately, there are things that you can do to save money on your Spectrum bill to offset the broadcast TV surcharge.

How To Remove the Spectrum Broadcast TV Surcharge

There’s no way to avoid paying the Spectrum Broadcast TV surcharge if you still want to keep Spectrum’s pay-tv service.

However, as this surcharge was a significant increase in customer costs, we’ve found that Spectrum magically has started offering a lot of discounts to customers that allow you to offset the fee partially or fully.

These discounts are not advertised on their site.  You’ll need to call and usually threaten to cancel Spectrum to get these $20-$30 a month annual promotions that will offset your broadcast fee.

Your best bet is to talk to the Spectrum retention team.

If you’re unable to negotiate a promotion, review your monthly Spectrum TV costs to see where you can save.

One bucket of savings is reducing your equipment rental fees.  If you’re paying $12.99 for DVR service, think if you can just watch these shows online or with the Spectrum TV app.

How much are you paying Spectrum for set-top boxes and receivers?  If you have 4 receivers but only watch on 2 TVs, you’re spending $20 a month that you don’t need to.

Besides equipment, reevaluate the features you have on your plan and premium channels to see if that’s what you really need.

If you have premium channels, consider just subscribing to them online.  It’s usually cheaper and you can cancel when the show you wanted to watch finishes.

DirecTV Regional Sports Fees

A final but effective way to avoid paying the Spectrum Broadcast TV surcharge is to cancel your Spectrum TV service altogether.

You can do that by talking to Spectrum customer service.

If you go through this path, really check to make sure that the surcharge goes away.  Sometimes there are system errors on Spectrums’ side.

We’ve seen cases of clients who ended up paying surcharges for 6 months even though they canceled their TV subscription.

Spectrum is not the cheapest or best way to watch the TV shows and channels that you love.

You’re no longer limited to what cable company is available in your area and there’s tons of options online.

Some alternatives we suggest are YouTube TV and Sling TV.

Both these options don’t have broadcast fees. In sling tv’s case, it’s cheaper and YouTube TV has a great online DVR feature.

Why Is Spectrum Charging So Much

Spectrum claims that the Broadcast TV surcharge is a pass-through fee.  That’s not entirely true.

There are hundreds if not thousands of affiliates in the US and contracts with the major broadcast channels that reset on different years and dates.

Spectrum is paying different affiliate fees for customers in different cities.  It’s not a flat $21 charge.

They’ve chosen to abstract that fee away and just charge most people that flat amount until they need to raise their fees again.

Previously these channels were free and made their money from advertising.  These channels have shifted their business model to now include charging monthly affiliate fees to cable companies like Xfinity and Spectrum.

To offset these fees, Spectrum has chosen to charge customers what they pay ABC and CBS.

This has resulted in Spectrum TV subscribers seeing significant increases in their monthly bills without any real improvement to their entertainment options.

Lower Your Spectrum Bill With BillSmart!

With the broadcast fee surcharge and other fees, Spectrum TV has gotten more and more unaffordable.

It seems like they just want people to sign up for broadband and will just keep on hiking the rates for their TV subscribers until they all leave.

Get someone on your side to help you save money on your Spectrum bill.

We can save you up to 30% on your Spectrum and other phone/cable bills.

We’ve saved our clients $1.5mm+ to date and we’re just getting started.

Register and start saving by clicking the button below.

BillSmart CEO

About the author

Mark Chen is the founder and CEO of BillSmart. As a 7-year veteran of the bill negotiation space, he's saved Americans $25mm+ on their phone and cable bills. In his free time, he enjoys watching shows on TV like Yellowstone and college football.