Whats in a Cable Bill?

Have you ever wondered whats in a Cable Bill? We all know its expensive, but why? We decided to take a dive into the different parts of a cable bill, so come along – if you dare.

Whats in a Cable Bill

Whats in a Cable Bill?

The Cable Box

Besides the actual cable, the mainstay of the Cable TV setup includes the cable box, this includes the magical, mystical inter-workings that convert the signal from the cable into the channels, movies and shows you paid to watch.

Normally, you rent the cable box and accompanying equipment, but is it worth the cost?

In some cases, you can find and use a self-purchased cable box and the magical card that is also needed. That might be something to consider – Google is a wonderful thing.


When DVR was introduced in 1999, it was a game changer. I seem to recall that initially there was no limit to how much you could record, but now cable companies have set recording limits in the pricing.

The Local Channels

Cable Users, meet the Broadcast Fee

Let me give you a little (big actually) secret. The Broadcast Fee (allowed by the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992) is really paying for those local channels that you could receive with an Over The Air antenna. Yup, kinda sticks you have to pay for that, right?

Some might call this basic cable, but normally it’s not offered to new cable customers, because the newbies want it all (Premium channels, Sports, etc). However, you can almost set your clock by it – month after month, year after year, initial specials run out and the REAL charges kick in, as well as the small price increases that creep in and BAM – you are faced with a HUGE cable bill.

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The Premium Movie Channels

Premium channels are one of the shiny keys to the growing cable bill prices. Whether it’s HBO, Showtime, Cinemax or others, it’s alluring to order these premium channels to get the best new shows and movies. The big issue is that they rotate these offerings, so one day your favorite movie is there and a few months down the line – its gone.

The cable companies hope that you put your cable bill paying on autopilot and never consider removing the premium channel tier, because you don’t watch it much anymore.

Why is the Cable Bill so Expensive?

If you have been a loyal, Cable TV customer for many years – I have one main reason you are paying more – the Cord Cutter exodus.

Statistics show that Cable Providers have lost 25 million subscribers since 2012. The truth is, the cord cutting group is growing.

Just think about it, if you had less people paying for something and you want to make as much (or more, let’s be honest) as you were making is to raise prices to make up for it. That means the stalwart, loyal subscribers are saddled with the extra money to make up for the Cord Cutters exodus.

Whats in a Cable Bill

Whats in a Cable Bill – Fees, Fees, Everywhere

We mentioned earlier about the Broadcast Fees (a fee you must pay for local TV stations you could get with an Over The Air antenna), but let’s discuss the Regional Sports Fee (Sports Surcharge).

Regional Sports Fee

The Regional Sports Fee isn’t a governmental mandated fee and will increase from time to time. This fee originates by Regional Sports Networks (RSN) and is passed on to you from the Cable TV companies because they carry the RSN channels.

Get this, you – as a Cable TV customer – pay this whether you watch sports or not.

HD Fees

I would think that in 2023, that the signal from the Cable TV provider would send the best signal and let the TV show that great signal, but no. You are charged an extra fee for a better picture. Wow.

Administration/Convenience Fees

Have you ever seen similar to an Administration/Convenience Fee on your Cable TV Bill? Do you know what its for? No one really does – except for the Cable TV providers. As far as we can tell, it’s for miscellaneous (and often – unspecified) fees. Wow – again.

So, what are other weird fees that you find on your Cable TV Bill? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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