Broadcast Group Highlights Cable Fails

WASHINGTON—A TV station lobby in D.C. highlighted cable operation fails in a missive sent to key lawmakers Wednesday morning.’s Robert Kenny wrote to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and members of the Senate Commerce Committee citing data from outage tracker indicating that there were 3,050 “substantial service failures” among the five big pay TV providers in the first five months of 2014.

“The length of some of these outages may have lasted a few hours or were addressed within days of the initial service failure. However, the average U.S. consumer who pays upwards of $130 per month for bundled pay-TV/broadband services must typically bear the brunt of this type of service degradation without explanation or remuneration,” Kenny’s letter said.

The top 10 outages for this week, thus far, include:
Time Warner Cable
Verizon Wireless
Playstation Network

Based on data for July 9, most of the complaints for cable providers involved broadband service.

In late June, McCaskill, chair of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance, launched a fact-finding effort in Missouri geared toward the billing practices of pay-TV providers in the state. Her notice states that, “The billing practices of cable, satellite, and other pay-TV services rank among the fastest-growing consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission.” She’s urging constituents to report their pay-TV frustrations via her website’s “Submit Your Scam” tool.

The members of include ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC affiliate groups, several station groups, the National Association of Broadcasters and others.