New York Sports Fans Get $76 Million Back on Canceled Events
(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and other cable and satellite television companies have returned about $76 million to New York subscribers who paid for costly live sports programming that was scrapped due to the pandemic, the state’s top law enforcement officer said.
New York Attorney General Letitia James in April publicly demanded that the companies cut or eliminate the fees, leading to a series of discussions and agreements, her office said Thursday in a statement. The money has already gone out in the form of rebates and refunds to about 4 million subscribers, James said, with tens of millions of dollars more to be delivered later this year.
“No one should be forced to pay for something they aren’t receiving, especially during a pandemic that has impacted the finances of millions across our state,” James, a Democrat, said in the statement. “I’m glad that these seven cable and satellite companies are doing the right thing by delivering substantial relief to consumers.”
The companies are paying for the reimbursements by seeking rebates from regional sports networks, which in turn are seeking rebates from the leagues and teams that called off the live events, according to the statement. The other companies that repaid New Yorkers under the deals are Altice USA, Charter Communications Inc., Comcast Corp., Dish Network Corp. and RCN.
Verizon said in a statement that it is “fulfilling its promise to Fios TV customers who previously received bill credits for a reduced number of live sporting events due to COVID-19” and that it has secured additional refunds from regional networks and is passing them along to eligible customers.
Altice USA confirmed its participation, in a statement, and said it has been informing customers of the credits.
None of the other companies returned calls seeking comment on the agreements.
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