OTTAWA — A contentious fee charged by many cable and satellite companies to help improve local TV programming is being eliminated.
And the country’s broadcast regulator is forcing companies to stop charging their customers for it.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says the Local Programming Improvement Fund will be phased out by August 31, 2014.
And it says cable and satellite companies will have to show by this fall how they will remove the fees from customers’ bills or how they will tell customers that they were never required to pay the fees.
The $100 million fund was established in 2009 to support small-and mid-sized local stations.
The plan was paid for by the cable and satellite companies, who promptly passed on fees directly to consumers, who complained in the tens of thousands.